Takeaways From the CDC’s COVID-19 Response

How do you think the CDC has handled the COVID-19 pandemic?

I’ll ask that question again at the end. In the meantime, let’s discuss criticisms and compliments our top public health agency has received.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been around for 74 years. And it has never faced a crisis such as this one.

There have been more than 4.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in America. The CDC suggests the real number is far higher. The pandemic has resulted in over 146,000 American deaths.

Confusing Directives

Early on, it became clear COVID-19 was hitting the U.S. hard. The CDC soon made a number of mistakes with testing. And its accounting of infections and deaths was inaccurate.

This was in part due to outdated technology across the healthcare system. Reporting systems were not uniform.

Some of the agency’s communications to the public were confusing. For example, people were told they should wear masks. Then they were informed that only N95 masks would work.

Next the public was told not to purchase N95 masks because healthcare workers needed them. Then people were told cloth masks would help slow the spread.

CDC and White House Clash

The CDC’s inability to produce accurate counts of infections and deaths led to confusion. People were not certain how serious the pandemic was.

There were too many discrepancies. The public heard conflicting information and guidance. It came from the CDC, hospital systems, and state and local public health departments.

While this was occurring, the CDC and White House clashed regarding data and directives.

Misinformation shook confidence in the agency. Resulting in some people deciding not to follow future CDC directives.

Testing Problems

Trying to control a highly contagious virus is extremely challenging. Testing is crucial to this process. It clarifies who needs to be quarantined.

But it took too long for the CDC to provide state laboratories with an effective diagnostic test.

And during the early days of the crisis, there were restrictions on who could get tested. This resulted in a greater infection spread.

Here’s an example. Washington state doctors forwarded the names of 650 people who might have been infected. The CDC agreed to test only about 250 of them.

A ‘Burdensome Hierarchy’

Part of the CDC’s job is to provide clinical medical guidance to health workers. Another part is issuing easier-to-understand information to political leaders and the public.

It can be argued the agency fell short in both tasks. Longtime former CDC employee George Schmid said this is why. The CDC is hampered by an “indescribable, burdensome hierarchy.”

So, many medical personnel searched for research articles on caring for infected patients. Rather than follow CDC advice. Citizens conducted online searches to determine how they should respond.

Recently the CDC called for the return of students to classrooms. But many local health officials believe that will only worsen the spread.

Conflicting Statements

To be fair, the CDC has often found itself between a rock and a hard place. Especially when communicating its findings and guidance.

Sometimes its recommendations are contrary to statements made by President Donald Trump. And that has caused confusion.

When he said the virus would “disappear,” the CDC countered that it was actually spreading more.

While the CDC encouraged the public to wear masks in public, the president didn’t wear one.

Defending the CDC

Some people defend the CDC. James Town is medical director of the ICU unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He said, “When they do release something, it does what CDC ought to do – retain the voice of credibility. Even if it’s coming at a slower pace. I think they’re pretty thoughtful and trying to make even-keeled investigations.”

Amy Ray is an infectious disease specialist in Cleveland. She said the CDC has not received enough credit for its response.

“They are learning at the same time the world is learning. By watching how this disease manifests,” she said.

Unfair Criticism?

Robert Redfield is the CDC director. He believes his agency has been unfairly criticized during the pandemic.

“I think history will lay down the facts correct(ly),” he said. “The real truth is, CDC did its job really in a record time. And developed the test within seven to 10 days.”

However, that initial test was a failure. It was two more weeks before the CDC provided a more accurate one.

Redfield says developing a test should not have been the CDC’s job in the first place. “It was really the responsibility of the private sector and the clinical medicine apparatus to develop these tests for clinical medicine.”

He added, “We’re constantly communicating with the American public. To make sure they get the best information that CDC has to give them.”

A Resumé of Accomplishments

Prior to COVID-19, the CDC established a strong reputation. Both here in the U.S. and around the globe.

Among its accomplishments have been helping to limit the spread of infectious diseases. Including Ebola, Zika and Yellow Fever. 

The CDC has also launched healthcare provider campaigns. Such as Think Travel. This program gave healthcare workers information and tools. To be used for better communications with patients regarding international travel.

As promised, I’m repeating my original question. How do you feel the CDC has handled the COVID-19 response? Feel free to chime in with your opinions.

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Comments

Andrew Keith - August 3, 2020

You are right the CDC has given confusing and sometimes contradictory info, but Trump is an idiot and people should NOT be listening to him

Frances Ellsworth - August 3, 2020

Something no one talks about is the https://www.cste.org/? They appear to be responsible for much of the vague or unverifiable information. I feel that because of Dr Fauci vacillating so much and the waffling on the numbers reporting that the CD had lost their credibility. I certainly do not believe much of what they are saying.

Ann Stelick - August 3, 2020

I myself am a nurse. I work homecare now and did in the beginning of the SCAMDEMIC PLANDEMIC. We were never required to wear masks until the middle of April by the company I was with. Around middle of June I temporarily said bye to homecare and worked in a nursing home for about 3 weeks. I was told here"s a surgical mask you have to wear it but we can’t get ya another one. If you want a new one it’s your responsibility to get one yourself. For 3 damn weeks I wore the same mask. I ended up with a VERY PAINFUL SINUS INFECTION . I’ve never had one where my snot was yellow green and bloody. Guess what the doctor treated me with? ZPACK and Zinc. I never got a COVID 19 Test . He didnt feel it was necessary when I told him I had the same mask on for 3 weeks. In about 3 days I felt better. I am back in homecare again and have a fresh change of masks daily. I also want to add I’ve NEVER wore a mask in public and STILL DON’T AND WONT. I’ve hugged my family DAILY since this PLANDEMIC SCAMDEMIC has started. None of us are sick. None of us has stayed home. 75% of my family is Essential with another nurse and a mechanic. We had a family member pass from a diabetic coma at the beginning of May 2020. Candace had over 200 people at her funeral. We didn’t get sick and no one there did either. My church has been open and hasn’t closed one service. No one in my church is sick. I PERSONALLY AM NOT SOLD ON THIS BULL. Walmart can stay open with 100’s of people in the store daily but a restaurant and a beach has to close? I am closer to someone in Walmart then I would be on a beach or eating next to in a
restauraunt. Did I mention I’m not sold? #Plannedscam
#I’mnotasheep

Denise R Powers - August 3, 2020

The CDC has scared the American people into a panic . We are all going to get this virus one way or another. And that is good for the immune system which none of us are going to have. Kids are going to get sick just like they do every year they go back to school. All the mask wearing and sanitizing that is happening doesn’t only scare people more but most are over doing it and not necessary. In fact it is the masks that are making people sick. If a surgeon wore the mask the way people are wearing theirs there would be a lot more infections with out a sterile field. If people would just keep their hands washed and off of their face there wouldn’t be a problem. And in closing President Trump was right on from the beginning and is doing a great job with what he has been handed!

Helen Harrison - August 3, 2020

The FDA, WHO, CDC, Dr. Fauci, and Bill Gates are the most corrupt organizations and individuals. Their goal is to bring down America and destroy President Trump. They are all in bed together. Their purpose is to create a vaccine for the entire world. Vaccines need to be tested, not on people but on animals to ensure that they are safe for people.
Ask The WHO about their giving vaccinations to 750,000 Kenyan girls and woman that sterilized them.
I could go on and on but you can get the picture about the people and organizations pushing these dangerous vaccines.

mgoode - August 3, 2020

The CDC has 2 counts against it. 1) It is a government agency staffed by bureaucrats. 2) It is solely oriented to the allopathic medical model.
1) Bureaucrats are devoted to maintaining their fiefdom. They repress innovation. They are heavily infected with TDS virus. They are constantly engaged in CYA activity. They are constantly engaged in making rules for the hoi-paloi. All this makes it nearly impossible to do anything even passably well.
2) The allopathic medical model should be able to cope with a pandemic. But it didn’t. Why? Because that model does not allow other models to contribute to a discussion. They are so right that it hurts. And it is the patients that get hurt because medical models are not absolute truth. There is always room for a different approach.
The 2 taken together resulted, at best, in an attitude of “It has to be done our way.” And their way was not good enough. So a lot of people died unnecessarily.

Terry - August 3, 2020

Not denying there is a virus, but the cdc and the so called experts know about as much about this as I do. They have turned the tv set and the internet into a propaganda war. The back and forth changing daily about what is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing to do is all about keeping the public off balance. There are quiet a few in this this country that don’t need help with confusion. They can’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. This virus was unleashed by a communist country that can’t stand the fact that our president stood up to them and the social elites of the world. Trump does not fit into their one world order plans, so they figured they could destroy the economy and that would be the end of him. But Trump doesn’t cave like the politicians from both parties. Just my 2 cents worth.

Lynne madonna - August 3, 2020

First off, stop bashing the President!! His words are constantly taken out of context. He and his staff have been doing a great job considering all the BS thrown at them . I think Fauci needs to be replaced though he is not looking out for the best interest of we the American people. As far as the CDC maybe in years past they did some good work but unfortunately in today’s bias crazy left climate i dont trust the CDC.

Faye M Morehead - August 3, 2020

My thoughts on the CDC this was plans years ago it’s all a bunch of B’S for the Democratic to make President Trump look bad and push one world government . A lot of free loaders are going a free ride housing forced medical,and food from a bread line see how much they’ll like it them. Dum as nails

Roy Jones - August 3, 2020

I don’t think the CDC has been honest with the American people about covid19 and the treatment for it. I believe that the media and the Democrats have used this to try and take down our president the economy and small business wasn’t shut down when the Spanish flu was killing people world wide and when you look at the symptoms of this covid19 they are the same as the flu. I believe that this was a test to see if people would do as the government ordered and like sheep they did. We need to put our faith and trust in God and not the CDC or the media hysteria. Thank you

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