“Everyone wants to describe the day that the light switch flipped
and the C.D.C. was sidelined. It didn’t happen that way,” Mr.
McGowan said. “It was more of like a hand grasping something, and
it slowly closes, closes, closes, closes until you realize that,
middle of the summer, it has a complete grasp on everything at
Last week, the editor in chief of the C.D.C.’s flagship weekly
disease outbreak reports — once considered untouchable — told
House Democrats investigating political interference in the
agency’s work that she was ordered to destroy an email
showing Trump appointees attempting to meddle with their
Often, Mr. McGowan and Ms. Campbell mediated between Dr. Redfield
and agency scientists when the White House’s guidance requests and
dictates would arrive: edits from Mr. Vought and Kellyanne Conway,
the former White House adviser, on choirs and communion in faith
communities, or suggestions from Ivanka Trump, the president’s
daughter and aide, on schools.
“Every time that the science clashed with the messaging, messaging
won,” Mr. McGowan said.
Edits on CDC guidance from Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump. Truly, a kakistocracy, in power for the outbreak of the worst crisis our nation has faced in generations.