CDC Was Viewed As World’s Premier Health Agency. How Did It Stumble So Badly?
“They let us down,” said Dr. Stephane Otmezguine, an anesthesiologist who treated coronavirus patients in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The New York Times takes a deep dive into the missteps, outdated technology, bureaucracy and politics that all played a role in the highly venerated agency's lackluster response efforts.
The New York Times:
The C.D.C. Waited ‘Its Entire Existence For This Moment.’ What Went Wrong?
Americans returning from China landed at U.S. airports by the thousands in early February, potential carriers of a deadly virus who had been diverted to a handful of cities for screening by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their arrival prompted a frantic scramble by local and state officials to press the travelers to self-quarantine, and to monitor whether anyone fell ill. It was one of the earliest tests of whether the public health system in the United States could contain the contagion. But the effort was frustrated as the C.D.C.’s decades-old notification system delivered information collected at the airports that was riddled with duplicative records, bad phone numbers and incomplete addresses. (Lipton, Goodnough, Shear, Twohey, Mandavilli, Fink and Walker, 6/3)
The New York Times:
‘They Let Us Down’: 5 Takeaways On The C.D.C.’s Coronavirus Response
Long considered the world’s premier public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has fallen short in its response to the most urgent public health emergency in its 74-year history — a pathogen that has penetrated much of the nation, killing more than 100,000 people. The agency made early missteps in testing and failed to provide timely counts of infections and deaths, hindered by aging technology across the U.S. health system. It hesitated in absorbing the lessons of other countries, and struggled to calibrate the need to move fast and its own imperative to be cautious. Its communications were sometimes confusing, sowing mistrust, even as it clashed with the White House and President Trump. (Shear, 6/3)