April 13, 2020


The lack of preparedness at every level of government (federal, state, and local) has nothing to do with a lack of funding or inadequate staffing. Instead, it has everything to do with governments’ bloat, mismanagement, cronyism, and poor focus.

That’s particularly true of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In theory, the prevention of diseases like this one is the agency’s entire reason d’être. It is right there in its name “Disease Control.” Its mission statement page also makes the centrality of this goal clear. It states as its priority “confronting global disease threats through advanced computing and lab analysis of huge amounts of data to quickly find solutions.”

Apparently, not really.

While there is a lot of blame to go around, it is no secret how much the CDC is to blame for the country’s lack of preparedness to take on the coronavirus (followed very closely in ineptitude by the Food and Drug Administration). The agency’s failure to understand the severity of this virus, to provide useful advice to the American people and to political leaders, and to deliver appropriate testing capabilities has been widely documented.

As I wrote last week, emails reveal that weeks after the virus started roaming freely in the U.S., CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told his employees that “the virus isn’t spreading in the US at this time.” But a month later, the CDC was still telling state and local officials that its “testing capacity is more than adequate to meet current testing demands.”

It wasn’t.


Related: The CDC was Fighting Racism and Obesity Instead of Stopping Epidemics.

Flashback: You had one job, CDC.

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