ATLANTA — The dean of Emory University’s School of Public Health is the latest health official to criticize the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
James Curran blamed partisan politics with damaging the credibility of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with it, confidence in a potential vaccine.
In the rare show of public criticism, Curran blasted what he believes is the stifling of scientists and administrators at the CDC.
“COVID is the public health crisis of the century,” Curran said. “Now, public health is always political. It’s political by nature because we’re changing what goes on in society and various populations. It should never be political during a pandemic.”
Curran is a former assistant surgeon general and once headed up the CDC’s efforts to combat the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
He worries that partisan politics is not only undermining the CDC’s credibility but also confidence in a possible vaccine though he said the public shouldn’t expect to see one before next year.
He also accused the Trump administration of stifling CDC officials, something the White House pushed back on strongly, saying it has a good working relationship with it.
In July, Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke with President Donald Trump one-on-one about his efforts to centralize information coming out of the health organization.
The president told Elliot that he believes it was important for information on the pandemic to come from one source, not many.
“They want centralized in terms of information. They want to be able to talk about it. They want to give wise information to other parts of the country,” Trump said. “It’s been a good effort together.”
Trump is currently recovering from COVID-19. He is scheduled to be in Macon on Friday for a big campaign rally.
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