The CDC Issued Guidance On Reopening — Trump Administration Rejected It
The CDC created a 17-page document that would guide businesses and government at all levels in reopening safely following the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The White House, according to CDC employees, is suppressing it and will prevent its release.
Last week, the Associated Press obtained an advance copy of the drafted document, and reported on some of the contents, noting that the guidance could still be modified by the Trump administration before official public release. The full document reportedly contains ‘decision trees’ that would help at least seven types of organization, including schools, churches, and bars and restaurants reopen their doors in the safest possible way.
Some of the specific guidelines the AP shared from the doc included that church services should be held in open air where possible and use a stationary collection box rather than passing a plate, that schools should space desks 6 feet apart and have meals in classrooms rather than cafeterias, and that restaurants should consider disposable menus.
However, according to Newsweek, a CDC official says that the administration has shelved the guidance, and that it will “never see light of day.”
Though the White House has released guidance on a phased reopening, and the CDC has information on their website advising how to minimise risk of transfer, the AP says none of these resources are as complete and specific as the suppressed document.
…the shelved report also said that as restaurants start seating diners again, they should space tables at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart and try to use phone app technology to alert a patron when their table is ready to avoid touching and use of buzzers. That’s not on the CDC’s site now.
Trump has boasted of success in response to the pandemic, and has urged reopening, though he does temper the call to reopen with words like ‘safely’ and ‘phased.’
Getting great reviews, finally, for how well we are handling the pandemic, especially our strong production of desperately needed ventilators, the building of field hospitals & beds, and soon, the great things we are doing on testing. People are really working well together!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2020
However, the president has also openly contradicted his own medical professionals, given mixed signals with regard to prioritizing economy over lives, and prevented experts from giving testimony on the risks of reopening the country. The CDC could elect to provide more of the specific reopening guidelines on their website at some point in the future, but while it’s in White House hands, it doesn’t appear that America will be seeing it.