A Health Department At Its Wit’s End: Attacks On Credibility, Overworked Employees And A Harsh Spotlight
“I don’t think people appreciate how tired the department is,” one former Trump HHS appointee told Politico. “Your effectiveness wears down after you’ve been in a fight — and for 100 days, HHS has been kicked in the teeth.” Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo berates the "whole alphabet soup of agencies" for early missteps during the pandemic.
‘HHS Has Been Kicked In The Teeth’
The coronavirus outbreak burning its way through the United States has taken a different kind of toll on staff at the center of the nation’s response. Officials here, at the Health and Human Services department headquarters, have worked around the clock since mid-January to first prepare for the possible Covid-19 outbreak and then manage the pandemic it became. But the Trump administration’s repeated stumbles have provoked a daily deluge of attacks, watchdog probes and open speculation about the future of the department’s leader, Secretary Alex Azar, culminating in a spate of reports about how White House officials were discussing Azar’s potential replacements this past weekend. (Diamond, 4/28)
The New York Times:
‘Governors Don’t Do Global Pandemics’: Cuomo Faults Others Over Virus
A day after seemingly expressing regret for not sounding the alarm on the coronavirus crisis sooner, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York apparently decided on Tuesday that there was enough blame to spread far and wide. At his daily briefing, Mr. Cuomo faulted a raft of other forces, including the World Health Organization, various federal agencies and the news media, for not doing their part to caution the world of the pandemic threat. Specifically, Mr. Cuomo targeted the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control — “the N.I.H, the C.D.C., that whole alphabet soup of agencies,” he called them — and the nation’s intelligence community for not issuing more urgent advisories late last year, before health officials in China had even publicly identified the virus. (McKinley, 4/28)