Leaked White House emails show top officials ‘buried’ CDC report on lifting coronavirus lockdown – The Sun

TOP officials at the White House buried a CDC report on lifting the coronavirus lockdown, leaked emails show.

The trove of messages obtained by The Associated Press reveals how the work of public health experts was quashed with little explanation.

The files also show that after the AP reported Thursday that the document had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it to be fast-tracked for approval.

The document was titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework" with an aim to help religious leaders, business owners, educators, and others.

It included “decision trees" that would help local leaders decide whether to open businesses or keep them shuttered.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the documents had not been approved by CDC Director Robert Redfield.

However, emails show that Redfield cleared the guidance, according to The AP.

The new CDC guidance had been approved and promoted by the highest levels of its leadership, including Redfield, but was put on the shelf on April 30.

Redfield shared the guidance and decision trees with President Trump's inner circle earlier in April.

That included Jared Kushner, adviser Kellyanne Conway, Dr Deborah Birx, Dr Anthony Fauci, and others.

Redfield emailed the guidance documents to Birx and Joseph Grogan on April 24, according to a copy viewed by The AP.

Grogan, assistant to the president for domestic policy, was also part of the inner circle.

Redfield asked Birx and Grogan for their review so that the CDC could post the guidance publicly.

“We plan to post these to CDC’s website once approved. Peace, God bless r3,” the director wrote.

His emailed comments contradict the White House claim Thursday that it had not yet approved the guidelines because the CDC’s own leadership had not yet given them the go-ahead.

CDC officials continued to ask about the guidance that officials had hoped to post by May 1, the day Trump had targeted for reopening some businesses, a source told The AP.

The CDC’s guidance was shelved until May 7 when The AP reported that the Trump administration had buried the guidance, even as many states had started allowing businesses to reopen.

The White House then called the CDC and ordered them to refile all of the decision trees, except the one that targeted churches.

An email obtained by The AP confirmed the agency resent the documents late Thursday.

“Attached per the request from earlier today are the decision trees previously submitted to both OIRA and the WH Task Force, minus the communities of faith tree,” read the email.

“Please let us know if/when/how we are able to proceed from here.”

More than 1.3 million people have been infected with the coronavirus as state leaders continue to grapple with the dilemma of when to reopen.



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