WASHINGTON, DC — The full CDC COVID-19 reopening plan guiding businesses and schools on reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic has been shelved by President Donald J. Trump, and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is calling for the full, uncensored document.
According to the Associated Press, top White House officials shelved the CDC report containing step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the ongoing pandemic.
The AP published 17 pages of the report, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” but that leaves more than 40 pages missing from a reported 63-page document. Instead, the CDC posted six one-page “decision tool” documents for schools, workplaces, camps, child care centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants.
“All along the President has tried to avoid the reality that this is a national emergency that requires national action. First, it would be gone in a day. Then it was China’s fault. Then it was we don’t need to help cities and states. This pattern has to end and releasing the CDC recommendations is just common sense,” said Reed.
The CDC employs about 11,000 people, some of the world’s foremost disease experts and researchers, including microbiologists, pathologists, and other scientists responsible for developing vaccines and diagnostic tests, Reed’s office reports. The CDC advises doctors and public health professionals on issues such as treatment and transmission and helps educate the public on preventing infectious disease.
President Trump’s annual budget proposals have repeatedly attempted significant cuts to CDC funding, though Congress has not passed them. In the President’s 2021 budget proposal, submitted 11 days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency, the Trump Administration proposed cutting Health and Human Services (HHS) funding by $9.5 billion, including a 15 percent cut of $1.2 billion to the CDC and a $35 million decrease to the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund’s annual contribution, according to Reed’s office.
“COVID-19 is a biological infectious disease, but these repeated unforced errors by the Trump Administration to contain it are man-made. There is no reason America should be lagging so far behind other nations in effective response. We have the tools to combat and contain COVID-19. What is acutely missing is a transparent, well-coordinated national response. Instead of just telling states ‘you’re on your own,’ I urge President Trump to step up and outline a unified strategy and work with Congress and governors to execute it,” Reed said.