The congressional January 6 investigation has gotten a lot of attention recently, especially because it resulted in the federal indictment of Steve Bannon for defying its subpoena, issued other subpoenas to Mark Meadows and other Trump supporters, and sought Trump White House records related to the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol.
Simultaneously, a second congressional inquiry has been following another serious betrayal perpetrated by Donald Trump and his team: the fatal mishandling of the COVID-19 catastrophe, with much less attention.
Showing investigation made headlines a few days ago with the discovery of additional evidence that the Trump administration hampered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s attempts to warn Americans about the epidemic.
The Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), published interviews and papers on Friday detailing how top Trump administration officials attempted to prevent federal health authorities from telling the public about the danger of COVID-19.
Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC health researcher, said at a press conference on February 25, 2020, that the virus’s spread in the United States was unavoidable.
That infuriated Trump, who had been attempting to minimize the coronavirus danger.
The new evidence demonstrates that the Trump administration attempted to silence her. And, according to Anne Schuchat, a senior CDC official, Trump officials hurried to have a briefing hours after Messonnier’s warning, despite the fact that “there was nothing new to report.”
Worse, the CDC conducted no press briefings between March 9 and May 29 of last year.
Kate Galatas, a CDC communications officer, said before the committee that the White House frequently opposed the agency’s efforts to organize such briefings, including one in April that would have stressed the need to wear masks to restrict the virus’s spread.
Worse, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 task force coordinator, told the committee that Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist (not an infectious disease specialist) who advised Trump on COVID, lobbied the CDC to change its testing standards to propose that only symptomatic persons be tested.
This would have most certainly resulted in fewer confirmed instances.
Concerned about asymptomatic persons spreading the illness, government experts believed it was critical for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients to be screened.
Atlas’ push, on the other hand, resulted in CDC guidelines on less rigorous testing in August 2020. Birx told the committee that the new suggestion “resulted in less testing and…less aggressive testing of those without symptoms that I believed were the primary reason for the early community spread.”
The CDC reinstated the more broad testing guideline a month later. According to Birx, it was distributed despite “objections from senior White House personnel.”
According to UCLA researchers, if the Trump administration had adopted a more effective health plan that included mask laws, social distance, and comprehensive testing protocols, the United States might have saved 400,000 COVID fatalities. Birx made a similar remark at the time.
We’ve known for a long time that Trump did the polar opposite of what public health professionals suggested.
Trump disregarded or underestimated the issue, sending a confused message on masks, social separation, and testing, more concerned with his own polling position than with the health and safety of the public.
The committee’s latest findings highlight his massive incompetence and dereliction of duty, which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
In a world full of Trump heinous acts, this tragedy deserves even more indignation.
The right went crazy about Benghazi, where four Americans sadly perished, but it shows little concern for the 400,000 people who died needlessly.
Maybe the amount just too huge to comprehend.
Furthermore, it is perplexing that murdering 400,000 people due to incompetence is not a disqualification for political leadership.
Trump is the Republican Party’s 2024 frontrunner, and party officials continue to bow to him. Meanwhile, Republicans have been considerably more concerned in criticizing Mr. Potato Head and Big Bird and ranting about Dr. Seuss books.
It’s also perplexing that the country isn’t more focused on figuring out what went wrong during this calamitous catastrophe.
The coronavirus subcommittee’s work is not being closely followed by the media.
As far as I can tell, the recently published content did not hit the top pages.
There’s still a lot to discover about how Trump and his cohorts botched the government’s reaction to this once-in-a-lifetime (we hope) disaster. (This is for Jared Kushner.) It simply doesn’t seem to be at the top of the national priority list.
Clyburn, on the other hand, perseveres.
He has been attempting to elicit testimony from Dr. Robert Redfield, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Trump administration prevented Redfield’s attendance before the committee last year. Clyburn issued him a letter on Friday, renewing the committee’s request that he submit to an interview and turn over papers.
“The Trump Administration’s use of the pandemic to advance political goals manifested itself most acutely in its efforts to manipulate and undermine CDC’s scientific work,” Clyburn said in his letter.