Former CDC Head on Covid Disparity: If You’re White, Wealthy You’ll Probably be OK

The Center for Disease Control plays an outsize role when diseases like COVID-19 are running rampant. In 2018, however, Donald Trump let go of a number of employees working for the government agency.

CDC via Flickr

Richard Besser, who served as the Head of the CDC under President Obama, appeared on Anderson Cooper’s show last night to discuss the differences between the two administrations. Besser also highlighted the Coronavirus safety disparity between whites and minorities, saying people who are white and wealthy can “do quite well here.”

Dr. Besser recalled Obama’s reaction to 2009’s Swine Flu pandemic. “Back in 2009 during the swine flu pandemic, when I went to brief the president and the cabinet, what President Obama said to me at the time was ‘We want everything that you do to be based on the best public health science.'”

Cooper then asked the Doctor, “Dr. Fauci has asked the question ‘How much suffering are you willing to accept. How much suffering is acceptable?’ And that is kind of the key question moving forward. Is there an answer to that?”

Besser responded:

“I don’t think you can ask that question until you are taking every step possible to protect and preserve and save every life that you can,” Besser emphasized. “We don’t have the testing capacity now to know where this disease is. We haven’t scaled up the thousands and thousands of contact tracers that we need. We don’t provide safe places for people to isolate or quarantine if they’re identified as either having an infection or being in contact. We’re saying if you have money and you’re white, you can do well here. If you’re not, good luck to you.”



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