How the Trump administration has politicized the CDC

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President Donald J. Trump, joined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (left), Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Stephan Monroe, associate director of the CDC (right), speaks with reporters during a visit to the CDC on March 6, 2020, in Atlanta. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Centers for Disease Control director Robert Redfield testified before Congress on Wednesday, imploring the public to wear masks.

However, President Trump went out of his way to reject Redfield’s claims in a White House briefing later in the day. “The mask is a mixed bag. There are some people — professionals — Scott, you would know a lot of them, but there are some people that don’t like the mask because of the touchiness and the touching and then you’re touching everything else. They have — they feel that masks have problems.”

Trump was referencing Scott Atlas, his new coronavirus adviser. The president also disputed a vaccine timeline Redfield laid out. It’s all part of a broad trend of the politicization of the CDC and public health in general.

Credits

Guest:
Dan Diamond - Politico reporter investigating health care politics and policy - @ddiamond

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin