CDC Scientists Aren’t Undermining Trump, Agency’s Chief Says

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aren’t trying to undermine President Donald Trump and don’t have “deep state ulterior motives,” Director Robert Redfield told a Senate committee Wednesday.

Redfield made those comments in response to aFacebook video Sunday where top HHS spokesman Michael Caputo claimed the CDC harbored a “resistance unit” meant to undermine the president. “There are scientists working for this government who do not want America to get better,” Caputo said in the video.

Redfield said those comments “deeply saddened” him because the CDC staff uses its skills “to protect the American public.”

“We’re going to continue to give Congress and the nation the best public health advice. We’re not going to let political influence try to modulate that,” Redfield said.

Redfield also sought to rebut reporting by Politico that the CDC’s weekly scientific Covid-19 reports—known as the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report—had been reviewed and edited by politically appointed communications aides.

“At no time has the scientific integrity of the MMWR been compromised, and I can say that under my watch it will not be compromised,” Redfield said during the hearing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shira Stein in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at [email protected]; Brent Bierman at [email protected]

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