COVID politics: 47 instances in which Trump Administration interfered in recommended coronavirus responses, Congressional committee finds

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[The October 2 Select Subcommittee] staff analysis found at least 47 separate incidents of political interference in the Administration’s coronavirus response spanning from February through September 2020.  These incidents have impacted every major facet of the Administration’s public health response and appear to be increasing in number and severity as the election draws near.

The analysis shows that President Trump, Vice President Pence, White House officials, and political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies have:

  • Pressured health experts to adopt the Administration’s talking points, even when they conflict with the science;
  • Criticized, sidelined, and fired experts who insisted on sharing accurate scientific information with the public;
  • Altered, delayed, and suppressed guidance and scientific reports on testing, protecting children, reopening schools, voting safely, and other topics;
  • Authorized questionable virus treatments over the objections of scientists;
  • Resisted efforts to ensure the safe development of a vaccine; and
  • Diverted $265 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration for an ad campaign to “defeat despair and inspire hope” weeks before Election Day.
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[The analysis] does not capture each instance in which President Trump or his appointees downplayed the danger of the virus to the public, made false and misleading statements about the science, and misstated key facts about the Administration’s response.

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