Click to enlarge
Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Health and Human Services Michael Caputo admitted on Saturday that since June, he and a consultant have been investigating several times for changes in a weekly health report distributed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Huh.
The medling, first reported by Politico, included efforts to stop the publication of a report last week on the use of hydroxychloroquine, a frequent malaria drug by Trump, in a 10-state study of COVID-19 infection data in June Delays and includes on another. Coronavirus prevalence in Georgia sleep-away camp.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is a series of dry and sometimes densely brief reports on public health events unfolding on Thursday. They typically describe specific events or topics and are an important way for doctors and health officials to obtain the latest data.
Dr. William Scheffner, who is on the publication’s editorial board, said he was “agreeing” and “disappointed” with efforts to delay, halt or change the report. He described the publication as an important part of the global conversation on public health. Officers who track diseases and hazards.
“It has been the voice of the US government’s health system, integrity and scientific rigor, for years,” said Schaffner, a professor and infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. “In fact, MMWR has been a model for ministries of public health in other countries that create similar newsletters in their countries.”
The intervention is not just anti-science, but the purpose of active disinformation to deceive the American public, is Dr. Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Eric Topol said.
“It is outright egoistic. It is disgusting, ”Topol said, adding that CDC chief Dr. Robert Redfield and others in the leadership have allowed the agency to be hijacked by politics.
“What we’re seeing are many actors, important people who are just getting late, who are getting entangled with the anti-science system of the Trump administration,” he said.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday, Caputo accused MMRW of content, as they are known, of being politicized by the agency itself.
“But in an election year, and at the time of COVID-19, it is no longer unanimously scientific. There is political content, ”the Post quoted Caputo as saying.
Scientists and public health officials disagreed.
Writing on Twitter, Dr. Sherry Butcher, a global health researcher, said: “There are no words to clarify how horrific this is. Trust and reliability were shattered overnight. The MMWR has long been one of the most reliable, stable, scientific resources; Undisputed veracity, impeccable reputation for data / analysis quality. not anymore.”
The MMWR was previously viewed but not edited as part of the ‘political process’
It is not uncommon for people communicating within the CDC to appear in the MMWR report prior to publication, Drs. Said Patrick Remington, a member of the magazine’s editorial board and a former CDC employee.
However, this involvement was previously limited to agency officials who let political leaders know what was coming, so they could be prepared with a communication strategy, Remington said, now the School of Medicine And Public Health, dean for public health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“What is unusual is the allegation that the political process is attempting to influence scientific findings.” And that’s a concern, “Remington said.
A member of the editorial board for 14 years, Remington said the body meets once a year to help determine the publication’s big-picture vision. Its last meeting was in February.
The board is not involved in the day-to-day work of the publication, and members knew nothing about the interference allegations until they read about it elsewhere, he and others said.
Jeff Niederdappe, another member of the MMWR editorial board and a professor of public health communications at Cornell University, said the related political mediation – as described by media reports – could destroy public confidence and cause long-term damage to the publication is.
In CDC generally and among public health practitioners who rely on making policy decisions, he said, “A big issue here in my mind is the fundamental foundation of trust.” “If the very foundation is being politicized, it is incredibly dangerous.”
Gaining confidence is a challenge, he said, and should start with an immediate response from the CDC, which has not yet commented on the allegations.
If the concerns are confirmed, Niederdappe said, “I am keen to share with other members of the MMWR editorial board to learn what we can do in this role.”
Published since 1878, MMWR has been the ‘go-to public health publication’
Notes from the MMWR’s field section, as is known, are often instructive previews of small investigations conducted by state or local health departments that describe a specific problem.
“They’re like a warning mechanism,” Scheffner said.
More recent MMWRs have described US heat-related deaths by sex and age, the contribution of foods high to high food intake, tuberculosis outbreaks among workers at food processing plants, and drinking rates among pregnant women.
Henry j. Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Vice President Dr. Jennifer Cates, a nonprofit focused on health issues, described MMWR as “going into a public health publication”.
Beginning in 1878 as a publication of the US Public Health Service, the MMWR itself debuted the CDC.
Cates said he was troubled by the inclusion of politics in a prestigious scientific journal. “In general, politicization of COVID has been an enemy of public health,” she said.
MMWR reports are written nationwide by CDC staff as well as public health workers and physicians. One to two-page reports are known for their careful and meticulous editing, a process that has gone through it has been described as annoying.
“If you’ve ever been involved as a co-author of one of those reports, it’s painful how every sentence is carefully reviewed for scientific rigor,” Skeffner said.
Video: Fmr CDC Director Reacts to Lack of Confidence in Americans from Public Health Officers (MSNBC)
Click to enlarge