Communications assistants appointed by President Donald Trump have reviewed and modified reports from scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better match the Commander in Chief’s sunny message that the US is defeating the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports. Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign manager and now appointed assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services, and his alternates have repeatedly requested access to, and according to reports, access to the CDC’s weekly weekly reports on morbidity and mortality prior to release changed several cases since April to reduce the apparent severity of COVID-1
CDC scientists have fought Caputo and corporations, but in the past few weeks, Politico says, they have exerted more influence on the reports. Caputo and its staff have also tried to delay and even stop the publication of other reports. Dr. Paul Alexander, a consultant to Caputo, wrote in an August 8 email: “CDC seems to me to be writing hit tunes about administration.” Trump has claimed on multiple occasions that the new coronavirus will “go away” and that the US is “around the corner” from the pandemic, despite nearly 200,000 American deaths from the virus and the highest number of cases in the world.
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