Fauci Warns U.S. Reopening Too Quickly Could Cause Disease Resurgence; CDC Guidance More Conservative Than White House; POLITICO Examines Bright’s Whistleblower Allegations

AP: AP Exclusive: CDC guidance more restrictive than White House
“Advice from the top U.S. disease control experts on how to safely reopen businesses and institutions during the coronavirus pandemic was more detailed and restrictive than the plan released by the White House last month. … The Associated Press obtained a 63-page document that is more detailed than other, previously reported segments of the shelved guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It shows how the thinking of the CDC infection control experts differs from those in the White House managing the pandemic response…” (Dearen/Stobbe, 5/13).

POLITICO: Colleagues paint a mixed picture of ousted vaccine chief
“…Rick Bright, the [Health and Human Services] department’s ousted vaccine expert, has assembled a 63-page complaint filled with damning allegations: that Trump appointees pressured health officials to rush unproven malaria drugs; that his warnings about mask shortages were ignored; and that senior leaders repeatedly missed opportunities to grapple with threats posed by Covid-19. Those claims are backed up by emails released by Bright, interviews conducted by POLITICO and, in some cases, President Donald Trump’s own public statements. But some colleagues say Bright’s complaint leaves out the full context for the pivotal malaria drug episode, which two current and two former officials say paints a murkier picture of Bright’s claims. Some of his allegations about department decisions on Covid-19 don’t match officials’ statements or the public record. And Bright’s central claim that he was ousted for battling Trump appointees over science is less than certain given that some of his own staff spent months raising concerns about his leadership, including a complaint filed by a person in Bright’s office last summer…” (Diamond, 5/13).

Washington Post: Fauci warns Senate that reopening U.S. too quickly could lead to avoidable ‘suffering and death’
“…Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, predicted Americans would experience ‘suffering and death that could be avoided,’ as well as additional economic damage, if states ignore federal guidelines, including delaying reopening of most businesses until they see dramatic declines in cases. He also said the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus is probably higher than the 80,000 reported to date. Fauci’s comments came during a contentious Senate hearing as lawmakers of both parties pressed him and other federal health officials on whether the country is ready to reopen…” (Wagner et al., 5/12).

Additional coverage of Fauci’s and other health experts’ testimony at a Senate panel is available from CIDRAP News, CNBC, Miami Herald, and STAT.

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