Former CDC director wants more coronavirus information from public health experts, not politicians
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The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that he would like to hear more from his former organization and less from politicians when it comes to information about the coronavirus pandemic.
Responding to a question about the role of the CDC during the public health crisis, former director Dr. Thomas Frieden said that it was important for public health experts to be updating the country on what is going on with the coronavirus and that he would “feel safer” if it was the CDC – not elected officials – being the ones informing the American public.
“I will personally feel safer when CDC is speaking regularly to the American people,” Frieden said on “Fox News Sunday.” “They are the world’s experts in this. No other doctor, no other agency in the U.S. government has the depth and breadth of expertise of CDC.”
He added: “They continue to do great work. And, in fact, and Americans are voting with their clicks. There have been more than 1.2 billion clicks on the CDC website and they’re still the best place to go for objective information, advice, recommendations on how to protect yourself and your family. And I hope we’ll hear more from the CDC.”
Frieden also countered President Trump’s assertion that the United States is nearing the end of the epidemic – saying area’s that have not been as hard hit could see more infections soon and that there could be “multiple waves” of the contagion in different parts of the country.
“This is a really bad virus and we’re just at the beginning,” he said. “We’re in different places in different parts of the country. In New York City, where I am today and where I live, we’re at the end of the beginning. In some other places in the country, it hasn’t yet hit in full force.”
“We’re likely to see multiple waves in different parts of the country. We know that this can spread explosively if it gets out of control, that’s why we have to be so careful,” he added.
Frieden, who headed the CDC during the Obama administration, also disagreed with Trump that the virus will disappear. The president said as recently as late last month that the novel coronavirus is “going to go away” even with a vaccine.
“It’s unlikely that the virus would simply just disappear,” Frieden said. “That would be unusual based on what we’ve seen in 200 countries around the world.”