White House Reportedly Censors CDC Guidelines For Reopening States During Coronavirus Pandemic

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on May 6, 2020.
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on May 6, 2020.
Photo: Getty Images

The White House has refused to release CDC guidelines that were developed to give schools and businesses across the United States a better idea of what they should do to maintain health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from the Associated Press. The news comes as several states make plans to reopen their economies, despite the fact that cases of covid-19 continue to increase in the U.S. by at least 25,000 per day, with almost 2,000 new deaths daily.

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The 17-page CDC report, obtained by the AP, is titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” and provides tips for schools, restaurants, churches, daycare facilities, and other businesses that want to “reopen” in the safest way possible. Some of the guidance is already available on federal government websites, according to the AP, but this report offered very specific advice in a centralized format for institutions on how to open safely.

Most municipalities around the U.S. have had some form of restriction on movement and trade during the past month, with many businesses forced to close their doors to help stop the spread of covid-19. The disease has sickened at least 1.22 million Americans and killed another 73,431, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. Those numbers are only expected to rise in the coming weeks and months as things open back up.

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The CDC report suggests that businesses limit points of contact between workers and customers by installing sneeze guards at cashier stations, something that some businesses have already implemented. The report also recommends that restaurants space out tables by at least 6 feet from one another and stop offering buffets and salad bars, which are a potential source of community infection. Frankly, salad bars didn’t have a great reputation even before the pandemic.

The report also provided “decision trees” that would guide businesses and schools through the toughest questions about how to reopen, according to the AP. The White House released its own guidance on reopening last month, but the suggestions are very vague and don’t provide detailed solutions for businesses. As just one example, the White House advice for employers simply suggests that businesses “develop and implement appropriate policies” while following “local regulations and guidance,” basically punting the entire responsibility of safely reopening onto the states.

And that kind of vague language is completely in line with President Trump’s vision for reopening. Trump has said he accepts no responsibility for the rising death toll in the U.S., which has eclipsed every other country in the world, and he’d like the state governors to own the decisions on when and how to reopen. That being said, Trump has been a national cheerleader for opening things back up quickly, often in conflict with the White House’s own guidelines.

Roughly one-third of all coronavirus cases in the world are currently in the U.S. while the nation represents only about 5 percent of the global population. And the White House spouted absolute nonsense when replying to the AP’s questions about why the CDC report was being shelved.

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From the Associated Press:

A person close to the White House’s coronavirus task force said the CDC documents were never cleared by CDC leadership for public release. The person said that White House officials don’t want to offer detailed guidance for how specific sectors can reopen, calling it a “slippery slope” because the virus is affecting various parts of the country differently.

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To be clear, that excuse is bullshit. The U.S. is a diverse country filled with many different kinds of businesses, but the guidelines for how to safely open a nail salon in Atlanta would be identical to the guidelines for one in Anchorage. The same goes for restaurants, where reopening an Olive Garden in Minnesota would be identical to reopening an Olive Garden in Michigan.

Over the past two months the CDC has been “sidelined,” as so many news outlets have phrased it, though if it were happening in any other country, U.S. media would likely say the CDC was being “censored.” The last press briefing held by the CDC was on March 9, according to NPR.

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Instead, the Trump regime opted to hold its own press briefings that have been filled with nonsense and propaganda. President Trump himself often led those briefings, giving a rosy picture of the crisis and handing out dangerous advice. Most infamously, Trump suggested that disinfectants could be ingested or injected to help fight the virus.

The Coronavirus Task Force, which Trump thought about killing just this week, has stopped doing daily briefings, and the CDC has not been allowed to step in and take up the slack. What is Trump afraid of? Everything, presumably, especially as more and more whistleblowers in the public health community come forward.

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The Trump regime is getting a lot of people killed right now. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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