US probe reveals Trump aides blocked correct information on Covid

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A US congressional report released on Monday (October 17) has revealed that former US president Donald Trump’s administration prevented health officials from providing accurate information about Covid-19. This, says the report, was done to back Trump’s overly optimistic view of the outbreak.

Former US president Trump was heavily criticised for his handling of the pandemic. Trump publicly endorsed medicines and treatment methods which were not scientifically proven.

Investigators for the congressional report were told by senior staff at US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that Trump aides bullied staff and tried to rewrite reports. 

Officials took “unprecedented steps to insert political appointees into the publication process and rebut CDC’s scientific reports, including drafting op-eds and other public messaging designed to directly counteract CDC’s findings,” the report said.

To make the congressional report, investigators interviews a dozen current and former CDC officials as well as senior administration figures.

The panel that has made the report, has described how Trump appointees at Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) tried to take over CDC’s weekly scientific journal, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), editing or blocking articles they believed might prove harmful to Trump.

Trump appointees had sought to “alter the contents, rebut, or delay the release” of 18 MMWRs and a health alert, succeeding on at least five occasions.

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