According to a current employee, the morale is the lowest in their time at the agency.
“I have never seen morale this low,” they said. “It’s just, people are beaten down. People are beaten down partially by a public who not only distrusts us but who actually think we want to infringe on their civil liberties. The other factor is the active undermining by senior members of our own administration.”
Richard Besser, a former CDC director, said that his conversations with former colleagues convey an “overwhelming sense of despair.”
“People are working incredibly hard to reduce the impact of the pandemic and the sense that they’re being blocked by people at the political level, and that the work that they’re doing is not being appreciated by the American public.”
Besser claimed that the general feeling in the department is that public health leadership is being stifled and prevented from laying out their path forward to overcome the pandemic.
According to one official, CDC Director Robert Redfield was at one point pressured by Vice President Mike Pence to change gathering recommendations to ensure they align with the White House’s recommendations.
Elsewhere, current CDC employees sounded the alarm on an HHS directive from August that was scrubbed. The directive recommended that people who come into contact with COVID-19 infected individuals get tested for the virus. After an outcry, the recommendation was reinserted into the document.
As The Inquisitr reported, recently unearthed emails revealed that the Trump administration attempted to silence the CDC during the coronavirus crisis. Notably, Paul Alexander, who recently left the Department of Health and Human Services, pushed back against the agency’s promotion of social distancing and suggested it was undermining the president’s authority.
Alexander also allegedly worked with his boss, Michael R. Caputo, to rewrite CDC bulletins to align with the Trump administration’s pandemic projections, which were significantly more optimistic than the CDC’s.
According to The Hill, Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives have launched an investigation into possible political interference in CDC projections.
As reported by CTV News, the CDC recently removed a guideline that suggested the coronavirus could be transmitted through the air, as multiple studies have claimed. Now, the agency’s guideline claims that the virus is mainly spread between people in close physical contact with one another.