UNITED STATES. The Trump administration has censored information about the Covid
Members of Donald Trump’s team when he was in the White House prevented health officials from providing certain information on the Covid-19, in order to go in the direction of the optimistic vision of the former American president , says a parliamentary report published on Monday.
Senior officials from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the United States’ main federal health agency, have told investigators that members of the Trump administration intimidated staff and tried to rewrite their reports in order to align them with the statements of the president, who minimized the epidemic crisis.
An instrumentalized scientific journal
Investigators interviewed a dozen former and current CDC officials, as well as senior government officials, for this 91-page report released by a congressional committee looking into the Covid-19 crisis.
In it, the House panel describes how Health Department officials, appointed by Donald Trump, attempted to take control of the CDC’s weekly scientific journal, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, by editing or censoring articles they considered harmful to the Republican president. These officials have sought to « alter the content, contradict or delay the publication » of 18 of these weekly reports, as well as a health alert, and this has been successful on five occasions, according to the parliamentary report.
Republicans reject report findings
The commission’s investigation « showed that the previous administration embarked on an unprecedented campaign of political interference in the federal government’s response to the pandemic, which undermined public health in favor of the political goals of the former president, ”says in the chairman of the commission, the elected Democrat Jim Clyburn.
Previous reports have already highlighted attempts by the Trump administration to censor senior health officials or to pressure the United States Medicines Agency to reissue emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine. This anti-malaria drug was touted by Donald Trump as a cure for Covid-19, despite evidence to the contrary.
Republicans dismissed the report’s findings on Monday, calling it partisan, and vowed to conduct their own investigation if they win back a majority in any house of Congress in November’s election.