Coronavirus

The CDC Made America's Pandemic Worse

The agency didn't just botch the initial test. It resisted mass testing.

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The pandemic was a test of America's public health bureaucracy. It failed.

Those failures were legion, and they were spread across multiple officials, agencies, and layers of government. But no institution failed quite as abysmally as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which, through a combination of arrogance, incompetence, and astonishingly poor planning, wasted America's only chance to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 before it spread widely.

The CDC is supposed to be America's frontline institution in the fight against infectious disease. Its job is to analyze viral threats, track their spread and development, and provide the public with relevant information about how to respond to outbreaks. Not only did the agency do this job poorly in the early stages of the pandemic, but it actively hindered efforts that would have greatly improved America's response, and it made planning errors that were both predictable and avoidable. At nearly every stage of the pandemic, the CDC got things wrong and got in the way. Its failures almost certainly made America's pandemic worse.

The CDC's most notorious breakdown came early on, when it was developing a testing system to detect COVID-19. As former Food and Drug Administration director Dr. Scott Gottlieb documents in a scathing new book, Uncontrolled Spread, the agency made multiple critical errors along the way. 

First, the Atlanta lab in charge of developing the test departed from the agency's own initial test, as well as the tests produced by other countries, producing a test design that was more complicated than necessary, with three components rather than two. In theory, this was supposed to make the test more accurate. In practice, it introduced an error into the early stages of the testing process during the early months of 2020, when America could least afford it. 

The test kit, it turned out, was contaminated. And the part that was contaminated was the third component the CDC had decided to add at the last minute. What's more, the contamination happened at least in part because the CDC had decided to produce the test in-house, at a lab not suited for the project, rather than contract it out to private firms with more experience and more rigorous quality controls.

The contamination was not discovered until the CDC sent the botched kits out to other labs. And even as those labs increasingly reported that the system was producing obviously unreliable results, the CDC, according to Gottlieb, continued to insist in communications with the White House and the Food and Drug Administration that the tests worked. The agency eventually admitted there was a problem, but it insisted on a slow and painstaking process of updating the bad kits themselves—actively blocking private labs from taking over. So not only did the agency botch the process, but it blocked others from stepping in to fix its errors.

Eventually, private contractors were brought into the process, but only after days of dickering over various licensing and usage issues; the CDC wanted to preserve total authority over the process. As Gottlieb writes, "the agency may have created the conditions for failure by overengineering its test for COVID and then being wedded to that more complicated design even after the problems arose."

Meanwhile, COVID-19 was spreading.

The testing foul-up has been widely recognized as a critical failure. What's been less discussed is that even if the agency had avoided the contamination fiasco, it was actively impeding the build-out of mass testing capacity during the pandemic's early days—because true mass testing would have meant allowing testing that was out of the CDC's control.

In late March 2020, after much of the country had shut down, the CDC went so far as to "edit an article that was slated for publication in a science journal, to remove a passage inserted by a Washington State public health official that called for widespread testing at senior assisted-living facilities," Gottlieb writes. Senior living facilities were, of course, among the communities where COVID was most deadly. Yet even there, the agency resisted mass testing. It resisted was because that state official had "encouraged more testing than the CDC was prepared to allow or was able to handle at the time." In an editing comment on the article, according to Gottlieb, a CDC official explicitly cautioned: "I would be careful promoting widespread testing."

This wasn't entirely unprecedented or unexpected. In 2016 and 2017, the CDC had similarly mishandled the development of a Zika test kit. As with COVID-19, the CDC's unwillingness to provide diagnostic tests to commercial labs was at the root of the problem.

Thus, the agency's COVID failure wasn't just foreseeable; it was foreseen. A Government Accountability Office report from 2017 noted that the CDC distributed diagnostic tests for Zika to public health labs but not to other manufacturers. The underlying process was murky at best. "Without a clear and transparent process for distributing CDC diagnostic tests," the report warned, "the agency may not be able to develop the capacity of the commercial sector to meet the needs during an outbreak." Despite the warning, this was exactly how the COVID pandemic played out.

Widespread testing from the early days of the pandemic wouldn't have stopped COVID completely. But it might have enabled a more tailored response, with mitigation measures limited to certain geographic regions and times. Because policymakers and the public were initially blind to the scale of the outbreak, we shut down the entire country instead, to disastrous results. No single organization is more to fault for that early blindness than the CDC.

The CDC continued its run of failures as the pandemic proceeded. It promoted arbitrary guidelines based in shoddy science, like the rule calling for six feet of distance between people interacting indoors, which made it maddeningly difficult to reopen schools in the fall of 2020. The agency didn't update that guideline to three feet until March 2021, despite months of evidence indicating that three feet was safe enough. 

So the CDC was not just wrong when it mattered; it was stubborn about its wrongness. It also often refused to explain its decisions, or to provide useful, practical information on which officials and private individuals could base their decisions. And when it did provide information, as Zeynep Tufecki has noted, the info was often confusing, full of vague or impractical advice and conflicting pronouncements. 

The root of the problem is the agency's self-conception: It sees itself as the ultimate arbiter of what is true and what to do on all matters of infectious disease. In essence, the CDC believes there is no other authority besides the CDC, so it shuts out private labs from the testing process, insists that its faulty tests actually work pretty well long after problems arise, sticks with overly complicated plans that bog down processes, and resists calls to update its guidance, even when that guidance makes living ordinary life difficult or impossible. In a pandemic, where information is scarce and evolves rapidly—and when hundreds of millions of people have to make decisions right now—the agency's preference for deliberative slowness and absolutist pronouncements would be a problem even if it were largely competent. And as it turns out, the agency isn't that competent at all.

At this point, the CDC's cultural dysfunctions are endemic. Given its performance during the pandemic, the agency as we know it today should be scrapped. That isn't politically realistic right now, but at a minimum it should be reformed. Gottlieb wants to see a special infectious disease unit modeled after U.S. intelligence services, which are more comfortable with ambiguity and which recognize the need for rapid processing and updating of information that changes rapidly.

A CDC that's organized around faster, more humble, more practical forms of information processing would be an improvement. But what we need most is to downgrade the CDC's importance and influence, to focus on distributed systems rather than centralized information hoarding. Among other things, that means a far higher reliance on the private sector. Private labs and manufacturers might have made some mistakes during the test kit development process, but a distributed system wouldn't have been brought to its knees by a single point of failure.

The same goes for information distribution and guidelines. Rather than act as if the CDC is the be-all and end-all of wisdom about infectious diseases, officials and individuals should be more open to a variety of less bureaucratic information sources.

Indeed, those following various public debates about COVID-19 were reasonably well-informed throughout the process, understanding quickly that it was spread through aerosols, that ventilation was much more important than physical distance, that unmasked outside activity was basically safe, that schools could safely reopen in 2020 with some reasonable precautions. The CDC's pronouncements, meanwhile, were sometimes basically right, sometimes badly wrong, sometimes just muddled—and almost always far too late.

The agency's understanding of its role doesn't allow for much systemic self-criticism. But officials who have the authority to demand accountability and reform should do so. And a good place to start is with Gottlieb's book. As always, the first step to healing is diagnosing the disease.

 

 

 

NEXT: Now That Opponents of the Texas Abortion Ban Are Using Its Provisions To Defeat It, Pro-Life Activists Are Crying Foul

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  2. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the mission of the Center for Disease Control. They are on the forefront of the fight against vaping. They lead the nation in the struggle against obesity, especially the fight to stop the consumption of food that is cheap and tastes good. Tobacco is, of course, a major target.
    Things that you might catch and that might kill you? Not interesting.

    1. Guns, General; don’t forget those fearfully contagious guns.

      1. Well, they do seem to multiply…

    2. They lead the nation in the struggle against obesity, especially the fight to stop the consumption of food that is cheap and tastes good.

      Well then, time to put their new powers over evictions to good use and evict Congress.

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-us-spends-4-billion-a-year-subsidizing-stalinist-style-domestic-sugar-production-2018-06-25/

    3. They lead the nation in the struggle against obesity, especially the fight to stop the consumption of food that is cheap and tastes good.

      That war’s been going about as well as the one in Afghanistan did.

    4. Its absurd to put vaping and obesity in the same category. Obesity is the leading cause of death, even with COVID in the picture and the risk from vaping is negligible if you look at the statistics objectively.

      1. Obesity is linked to 78% of covid deaths.

        1. No it’s not. Scientific studies involving thousands of COVID patients found that there is no association between obesity and COVID-19 mortality.

      2. Obesity isn’t a cause of death.

    5. Obesity? BIG LIES. The outdated, fake ‘Healthy Eating’ advice of calories etc. IS the cause. Calories don’t count, as various physiological homeostatic mechanisms speed or slow metabolic rate depending on what, when and how much/little is eaten. The crooked sugar industry ensured that the corrupt fools/crooks, who give this advice.. included 10 (TEN)!, teaspoons of sugar daily, for adult males, as the ‘healthy’ norm, instead of ZERO!

      1. Obesity does NOT cause death. Clogged arteries cause most. The 3 main causes of arterial calcification, that ill informed Docs and controlled dieticians won’t give… are
        1. High blood homocysteine.. that needs to be lowered with B vitamins, B12, B6 and folates. Butter and cream synthesize all the B vitamins in the gut with the help of the ‘friendly bacteria’. In along term, large scale study.. two groups were geographically separated by their work. They were of the same genetic origin, the same age group and the same activity level. Those that ended up in the North cooked all their food in butter and ate plenty of animal fatty meat They smoked more than the Southern group. The Southern group had a pure vegetarian diet. YET… The Southerners had 15X (fifteen times) the heart disease incidence of the Northerners. Note.. butter contains vitamin K2.. that directs calcium to hard tissues, bones, and away from soft tissues, arteries! (Malhotra S L, Dr. 1974- Published 11X in The UK Lancet Med J). Butter is high in… Vitamins A and D, essential to the proper absorption of calcium, necessary for strong bones and teeth; the protective omega fatty acids are in perfect proportion; health giving: arichidonic acid, short and medium chain fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid;iodine, selenium, manganese, zinc, chromium, and lecithin.. in a form easily utilized by the body.

        Idiotic Mainstream advice is to reduce/zero butter and cream.

        2. Artery inflammation is caused by insufficient anti-oxidants in the diet. This inflammation, (shown by a high LDL ‘marker’ reading), leads to calcification,. Surprise. 2 egg yolks daily have sufficient anti-oxidants, selenium, l-cysteine amino acid and vitamins to stop inflammation in arteries, and thus prevent calcification from this cause. Eggs are high in vitamin K2 and in the phosphotidyls.. serine and choline both essential for the nervous system and the development of young brains and maintenance of older ones! 2 or more egg yolks at breakfast stabilize blood sugars through the day, preventing the after lunch and dinner ‘lows’.. Idiotic Mainstream advice is for 2 eggs a week. I have 3 raw yolks a day and up to 10 yolks daily.

        3 High triglycerides are blood fats elevated by too many carbs, especially sugar and.. alcohol. Idiotic advice is to stuff yourself with grains and fruit all day.. carbs.

        Interestingly.. grass fed animal fat is high in artery-protective Omega3, CLA and LCFA.

        1. Sounds like fatty issues.

    6. Don’t forget racism and guns.

  3. The CDC is supposed to be America’s frontline institution in the fight against infectious disease.

    But their program to get more women in STEM fields? Très magnifique!

    1. This, I work for a .gov that is in the same perview as the CDC. They are more concerned with social justice than good science.

      1. Because “good science” cannot come from women? Or an organization cannot attempt to hire the right person without regard to their gender, race, or any other characteristic?

        You make it sound like good science requires misogyny.

        1. You let the voices in your head take over.

        2. I never said anything remotely close to what you are assuming, and you clearly have no idea what is social justice. But please elaborate on what makes the ‘right person.’ Picking someone or not picking someone based on their race instead of their qualifications is racist.

        3. Because good science isn’t determined by gender dumbass.

        4. How is any of that pet of the CDC mission statement? Goddamn, you make me want to piss myself.

  4. The testing issue is just part of the problem. The CDC has mission creeped and bureaucratized into a typical, bloated federal entity. Worse, it has become political and is therefore beyond redemption at this point.

    1. The whole idea that an organization, which botched this from the beginning, should be trusted to competently handle a mass, national testing campaign is a level of cognitive dissonance that shouldn’t even be possible.

    2. Only a moron thinks they’re political. That’s brought about by the same team who made a damn virus political instead of a public health issue.

      1. Fauci supported curtailing religious gatherings for social distancing purposes but refused to provide the same recommendation regarding BLM public gatherings. Apolitical my a-hole.

        1. Dinners is one of the dumbest people ever seen.

          1. I often wonder what kind of raspberries. I mean are they grown or blown?

            1. Probably the ones the bear ate then shat out on the trail.

        2. Exactly. What protection, exactly, does BLM (and ONLY BLM) protesting confer against CoV-SARS-19? https://contrarypov.blogspot.com/2020/07/do-black-lives-really-matter-alternate.html

      2. Yes, but AIDS is a bit off topic.

      3. Seriously? How many democrats at the end of 2020 were screaming about “Trump’s CDC director Redfield”? Resorting to name calling does nothing for your credibility.

      4. Finally you said something truthful. Yes. The democrats made covid political to unseat a president.

    3. You are 100% correct! The CDC needs to be immediately terminated and then reorganized with only non-political, non-bureaucratic, non-biased administrators, scientists, and intellectuals.

      As it stands now, it serves no legitimate purpose to American taxpayers.

      It has morphed itself into nothing more than a group of highly biased political hacks causing real and significant damage (including causing premature deaths and otherwise easily prevented torture) to countless innocent Americans.

  5. What’s more, the contamination happened at least in part because the CDC had decided to produce the test in-house, at a lab not suited for the project, rather than contract it out to private firms with more experience and more rigorous quality controls.

    The Feds have done a pretty admirable job of outsourcing censorship, you’d think they would be all in for outsourcing a COVID test.

    1. The problem is that, like a lot of our products these days, these tests likely would have been made in China and thus been utter shit anyway.

    2. I believe the political intent, at the time, WAS to hamstring the testing – because testing would acknowledge that the virus WAS, or was becoming, a public health matter. The other intent was to try to keep all development US-based, by US companies, on US soil. This is (was) part of the goal of MAGA.
      Trump’s method of dealing with the issue was that of trying to suppress it, sweep it under the rug. In most cases, that would not have been a bad approach. This was the one issue in which it backfired, big time.

  6. In late March 2020, after much of the country had shut down, the CDC went so far as to “edit an article that was slated for publication in a science journal, to remove a passage inserted by a Washington State public health official that called for widespread testing at senior assisted-living facilities,”

    But trust every communique from the CDC from here forward, because Science! The NEW NEW definition of Vaccine will be built back better then the OLD NEW definition of Vaccine!

    1. I have seen so much slipstream editing (i.e., without an “edited on x date” or “errata: this was corrected to change x” message) to remove information that didn’t fit a mainstream narrative that I’ve grown extremely skeptical of the press (and the CDC, the WHO, and every political or quasipolitical public health agency)…

  7. Almost as if Trump dismantling the CDC Pandemic Response team had an effect. Hmm…

    And as haphazard as some of their actions were, it pales in comparison to the idiots parading around unvaccinated and clogging our hospitals now when there’s a free and proven vaccine.

    1. Yes, more bureaucrats would have made the situation better.
      Idiot.

      1. If you dismantle your army, you have no defense.

        1. I bet that sounded profound and clever in your head.

          You should probably sit the next few plays out.

        2. Bureaucrats =/= army, but you’d have to be other than a lefty shit to understand.

        3. I’m glad you brought that up. In 2020, only 20 active duty service members died of COVID, across all branches. So far, over 80 active duty service members have been diagnosed with myocarditis after receiving the vaccine. Myocarditis has a 5- year mortality rate of roughly 65 percent. Therefore, we have likely killed more active duty service members with this vaccination campaign than covid has.

          1. As a survivor of myocarditis from over 65 years ago, I feel for the young (mostly) people who are apparently being infected from the vaccine. I wish them all well. Another reason (among several) why everyone should have the option to dissent.

        4. If your army is only paper pushers you have no defense.

    2. Partly false claim: Trump fired entire pandemic response team in 2018

      Partly false: The Trump administration disbanded the “pandemic response” team, but some of the team members were reassigned to roles that included pandemic response
      </blockquote.

    3. Oh look, a liberal liar telling anti-scientific lies about what spreads disease like the good Wuhanslanist cultists he is.

      Pop quiz, troll! If evil dirty Juden, er, unvaccinated (which you mean Trumpers) are parading around when the Mark is available, how come your Illegitimate Usurper, when he announced his unconstitutional fascist edict that all workers must take the Mark, how come postal workers and other favored union constituencies and Democrat funders were exempted? Hmmmm? Hard to believe when you liars say the unMarked are clogging the hospitals when favored groups are exempt.

      Also, the reports of unMarked people clogging ERs are debunked lies and you’re clearly unaware of how the Mark is a leaky vaccine creating the new variants. Why would you know REAL SCIENCE and FACTS when your role is to troll the Official Narrative of the #Scamdemic?

    4. Clogged hospitals? You mean all those hospitals that have been closed in the last 20 years. Healthcare for profit doesn’t work. If it did it’s job there would be no need for hospitals at all. Just like a fire department it is only useful a small amount of the time.

      1. No, I think he means the hospitals that are turning away heart and other patients due to morons who wouldn’t take the vaccine because MAGA! who are now filling all the ICUs in mostly red states.

        Because if hospitals “did [their] job there would be no need for hospitals at all.” ?!? If only we’d known that during polio and the start of HIV!

        1. “No, I think he means the hospitals that are turning away heart and other patients due to morons who wouldn’t take the vaccine because MAGA! who are now filling all the ICUs in mostly red states…”

          Hospitals are doing nothing of the sort, but fucking lefty shits can’t be bothered with facts.
          Fuck off, asshole.

      2. Yet less wait times for procedures than managed hospitals in any socialized medicine country you want. Weird.

      3. Clogged, because of the “Certificate of Need” that many jurisdictions require before a hospital can increase beds??? I thought we were aa capitalist society. Let the market control.

    5. What’s stupid is socialists bitching at effective people on how unfair life is.

    6. “Almost as if Trump dismantling the CDC Pandemic Response team had an effect. Hmm…”

      shitfordinner can’t seem to do other than lie.

    7. Sorry but your lords and masters have had to move on from that tidbit of misinformation:
      Washington Post Op-Ed, “It is true that the Trump administration has seen fit to shrink the NSC staff. But the bloat that occurred under the previous administration clearly needed a correction. … One such move at the NSC was to create the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, which was the result of consolidating three directorates into one, given the obvious overlap between arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense. It is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented. If anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled”

      So, not disbanded and not even part of CDC

    8. If you look at the numbers, the only thing we know is that the vaccine is relatively unharmful. (Apparently a lot of the VAERS reports are being dismissed, or people aren’t accounting for how many adverses are not/never reported…) If you track the percentages based on the original Wuhan findings, the same percentages of asymptomatic and/or mildly symptomatic cases occur across both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups; the reason for the discrepancy is that the unvaccinated are tested much more frequently than the vaccinated. (“Hey, I’m vaccinated, I can’t have COVID” – “Yeah, it’s probably just a bad allergy season” versus “Hey, it’s just my seasonal allergy” – “NO, you’re not vaccinated, EVERYTHING is COVID so you HAVE to get tested daily and isolate!!!”)

  8. Testing wouldn’t have done crap.

    The problem is the hysterical overreaction to a virus that for most people isn’t noticeable without a test.

    Yes, it kills a lot of really old, really sick, and really fat people. If you are young or healthy it’s pretty much the flu (or not as bad if you are really young).

    1. So fuck you! All you old, ill, and fat people!

      LOL. Wow.

      The Delta variant has changed that picture, though. Younger, healthier people are getting it and ending up in the hospital. School kids too. It just needed a few months to bounce between a bunch of MAGA morons to evolve into something more virulent.

      1. So are lots of vaccinated people. What’s your point?

        1. My point is obvious. JeremyR is ready to flush a large number of Americans down the toilet because he’s too lazy or crazy to get the vaccine.

          1. If you are vaccinated you are supposed to be safe? So what’s your point? I mean that’s what a vaccine is meant to do right. Otherwise it really isn’t a vaccine.

            1. His point is that he’s a lying pile of lefty shit.
              Hey, asshole! Fuck off and die.

            2. He’s a prog. Progs always simultaneously accept two premises that contradict each other.

      2. We sacrificed our young for the sake of our elderly. Teen suicide and self-harm are way up. The achievement gap almost certainly widened. And the effects of teaching toddlers to fear and stay away from everyone outside their household, to keep them away from their friends for a year, and to most definitely not share their toys is unlikely to be known for a while.

        As best I can tell, all of the lockdowns served only one purpose: to prevent the staff of senior living facilities from getting infected and passing it on. The independent seniors could have isolated themselves and had all their supplies delivered to their doorstep. It was only the 1% in assisted living that could not be easily isolated. We should have been focusing on that problem by calling up the national guard and asking nursing staff for volunteers to go into hard isolation for 2 weeks then live on-site to ensure no entry point for the virus. Then after the virus burns through the population for 2 months, staff nursing homes exclusively with people who had a confirmed COVID case, until the supplies of N95 masks catch up to allow safe interaction between the susceptible and the vulnerable.

        Instead, we had “lockdowns” where a majority of people were still considered to be essential, and nursing home staff was buying their groceries from cashiers who interact with hundreds of people per day. And we never took advantage of natural immunity.

      3. If stupidity were a comorbidity, you would have been gone in spring of 2020. When the high risk population are that obvious, you focus your efforts on the the old, ill, and fat people and leave the rest of us the fuck alone. Progressive pinheads decided to apply equity rather than merit principles to public health and killed more people than the virus.

        As for the Delta variant, it was coming no matter what we did, just like the flu and a bunch of other diseases mutate regularly. Children and younger adults are still low risk and the routine one-off that CNN shows you about a kid in the hospital is just designed to keep irrational, innumerate people like you panicked and herdable.

        1. Not to mention, India is a vaccine-producer nation. The second we saw what Delta did, we should have understood that it WOULD come to the rest of the world (especially some of the harder-hit areas; the US outsources a lot of technical support and customer service to India, and not all of that business can be handled remotely), and prepared accordingly.

  9. The CDC sees the pandemic as a way to curtail individual freedoms, attain more control and additional funding. Pandemics are nit black swans; there will be more of them.

    1. Bingo! They will wring this shammy for all it’s worth.

  10. At least we can thank them for one thing — fewer nose scrapings.

  11. The vaccine was ready in mid February. If it had been allowed to be released to those elderly who wanted it thousands would have been saved.

    1. yes, but that would have involved admitting the patently obvious – that the virus is NOT an equal opportunity threat. Sane people know who the high-risk groups are. That much has been clear from the start. Yet also from the start, this has been portrayed as something to which all are equally susceptible.

    2. Yeah, funny how Moderna had a vaccine ready in 48 hours after the Wuhan lab officially released the DNA map, but can’t come up with one in a similar time frame for this particular strain.

      Almost like they’d been working on it for years before it went in to the wild….

      1. Moderna has been working on mRNA vaccines for years. When they got the genetic sequencing of Covid they designed the vaccine in theory within 48 hours. They hadn’t manufactured it or tested it.

        1. And they can’t seem to catch those pesky delta viruses and do the same? Your argument doesn’t help your case.

          1. They can do the same. But thus far, they don’t see a point. Given that a booster of the same mixture also gives near perfect protection against Delta, they don’t really have much reason to go through all the logistical difficulties a Delta focused booster would bring for the marginal benefit it would offer. If something like Mu took off and really impaired the vaccine even with booster, then that would change the calculation.

        2. When they got the genetic sequencing of Covid they designed the vaccine in theory within 48 hours. They hadn’t manufactured it or tested it.

          That doesn’t contradict what I said, you dumb bitch.

          How many elderly died of the coof in your nursing homes?

      2. It’s almost like SARS wasn’t a thing and attempts to create a SARS vaccine weren’t instrumental in pushing the SARS-COV-2 vaccine process forward faster.

        1. Are you here to prove3 how stupid lefty shits are? You’re doing a good job.

        2. It’s almost like SARS wasn’t a thing

          You do know that SARS has been around for a while, right?

          1. SARS has been around. A similar coronavirus, MERS, followed some years later. CoV-SARS-2 (the current coronavirus of concern, the pathogen behind COVID-19) is considerably newer.
            Attempts to create a SARS vaccine using only *its* spike protein turned out counterproductive (antibody-defense enhancement – i.e., you get sicker WITH the vaccine than without it), and the natural decline of that virus obviated the need for further testing and development.

  12. Give me a break. This goes well beyond testing to a full-in disinformation campaign that made a job of public health. This includes the needless lockdowns, mask mandates, grossly exaggerating the lethality of COVID, the demonization of treatments, and inflating infection and death rates to scare people into compliance.

      1. It’s a total scam!

    1. Typical Auburn confusion (you sure you’re not a tiger?)

      1. Typical lefty bullshit; are you sure your brain hasn’t leaked out, lefty shit?

        1. Sevo, the goal in put downs is to say something at least a little funny, and of course clever. That way you mock the other poster while bringing attention to your own intelligence. Understand?

          I think there is hope for you in that you clearly know how to spell words like s..t, but the repetitive angry mental patient style is passe with the cool kids and I think a make over would help you a lot.

          1. Asshole, the goal is to insult steaming piles of lefty shit like you.

    2. Go take your bleach and hydroxy, snowflake.

    3. If you believe that they inflated death rates, there’s really no point in having any kind of conversation with you. You’ve already opted out of objective reality.

      If you haven’t already, I’m sure there’s a cult out there waiting for you to join. You seem well-suited.

      1. Two different audits already showed they inflated the numbers. Colorado abd southern California. Sorry buddy. You fell for lies.

  13. They’ve been solidly consistent on their guidelines for alcohol consumption (two drinks for each man, one for each woman), and wouldn’t you know, that’s been completely ignored by all the bars and restaurants making you mask up.

  14. systemic self-criticism

    Self-criticism requires a conscience.

  15. “The pandemic was a test of America’s public health bureaucracy. It failed.”

    How many people were fired for this debacle? Better yet – Was anyone fired for this debacle? There are no consequences for poor performance in our bureaucracy.

    1. Trump, the most responsible person, lost an election, was fired, partly for his demonstrated lunacy/narcissism in handling the pandemic.

      1. A crony press and fortified elections had no impact…

        1. They almost did!
          FOX News, Newsmax, OANN (the crony press) tried really hard to get Trump re-elected. And a few states created alternative electors to vote for Trump even as their populous voted in majorities for Biden. The Trump campaign was calling around trying to get states to declare a failed election to kick everything to Congress where the red states hold a majority of states (but not members.) All that GOP fortification led to an insurrection and calls to execute the Republican Vice President–they even brought restraints, weapons, and built a gallows.

          But all of that had no impact on Biden getting elected. Still, it’s having a major impact on the country as a whole. And hundreds of thousands of people, many of them Republican, have died as a result.

          1. Yeah, the press was really behind Trump! And we have the lying piles of lefty shit to make that idiotic claim.
            Almost as idiotic as calling the protest an “insurrection”

            “…Still, it’s having a major impact on the country as a whole. And hundreds of thousands of people, many of them Republican, have died as a result.”
            You.
            Are.
            Full.
            Of.
            Shit.

      2. TDS-addled lefty assholes continue to lie about this.

  16. aren’t they the ones running the Eviction Mora-scam-ium too?

  17. The CDC is just doing what all bureaucracies end up doing. They wield the power they have to keep the bureaucracy going.

    Private labs producing effective and cheaper tests than the CDC produces? Cannot be allowed! See a little niche’ that the bureaucracy can use to assume greater power? Grab onto it and force the issue!

    We should just realize the truth. The CDC doesn’t really do anything for us other then get in the way and cost a fortune. It’s the same thing with 98% of the rest of the Federal government.

    We don’t need what they got and they are desperate for us not to find out. That’s why they fight so hard to avoid a government shutdown and when it does happen they make sure that the things we do need from government are the things that are shuttered first.

  18. The CDC made it worse?? It was the TRUMP ADM and all his republican/gutless enablers. We’d have been DONE with this pandemic months ago if we had a “president” at that time that cared for more than only “wanting his NUMBERS to look good.”

    1. Uh… How?

      Seriously, tell me how we could have “been done with” a global flu with animal reservoirs.

      1. He’s probably thinking Australia since it they got rid of it months ago right?

        1. Pretty sure “thinking” is not one of the asshole’s skills.

        2. You’re thinking New Zealand. They’ve pretty much had none of the nonsense we’ve had because they locked everything down tight right up front, closed the borders, and then after the initial quarantine, reopened. An occasional tourists gets loose with COVID and they go through it all over again, but it’s minor compared to what the rest of the world is dealing with. The Kiwis are largely very happy to have a government that responded quickly and decisively.

          1. Yeah, just like Japan!
            You’re full of shit, asshole.

      2. I dunno… but since this is not influenza we’re dealing with, it seems weird to have that discussion. The coronavirus we’re dealing with is far more deadly than the strains of the flu we’ve experienced most of our lives. But if we’d quarantined, masked, and avoided crowded indoor places faithfully, then all gotten the vaccine when it was offered, we’d have been able to fully re-open everywhere and only had to do spot lockdowns in areas where the virus escaped herd immunity.

        The real issue with COVID these days, since it’s largely controllable via the vaccine, is that is packs the hospitals and overwhelms the entire medical system and locks people with other conditions out of healthcare. As long as the hospitals can handle the normal emergency cases along with a few COVID patients, we’d be just fine fully opening and trashing our masks. But to do that, everyone who can needs to take the vaccine.

        Back to influenza, the Spanish flu was devastating but subsequent influenza outbreaks have been minor. Those “animal reservoirs” haven’t spawned anything we haven’t been able to cover with our annual flu vaccine regimen. If the risk of animal crossovers was so high, we’d have seen another major influenza outbreak. The existence of human-animal viral crossovers isn’t a good excuse for nihilism.

        1. “…The coronavirus we’re dealing with is far more deadly than the strains of the flu we’ve experienced most of our lives…”

          Bullshit.

        2. How is the Rona more deadly than the flu?

          If you had to choose whether every child under 18 in your extended family got the flu or the Rona, what would you choose?

        3. The real issue with COVID these days, since it’s largely controllable via the vaccine, is that is packs the hospitals and overwhelms the entire medical system and locks people with other conditions out of healthcare

          Considering that’s caused solely by the hospitals laying off half their staffs last year, and getting rid of even more who haven’t gotten the 6-8 month prophylaxis, I’d say the “real issue” is the short-term thinking of our medical institutions.

    2. “…It was the TRUMP ADM and all his republican/gutless enablers…”

      TDS-addled assholes lie.

    3. Sounds like you have been saving a B.J. for J.B.

  19. The root of the problem is the agency’s self-conception: It sees itself as the ultimate arbiter of what is true and what to do on all matters of infectious disease.

    That cannot be reformed as long as the CDC remains in the executive branch. It is has to be transferred over to an interstate compact. The states are always the front line for public health actions. The CDC has to be accountable to them in the CDC’s main job of providing information and benchmarking. If the states aren’t getting value, then it’s easy for them to whittle it down.

    Any research they do should be in NIH instead. The only part that should be in the executive branch is getting information and monitoring diseases overseas – and actually quarantining people at airports/borders (which we didn’t actually do).

    1. The states don’t act in unison which means a state that thinks the virus is a hoax can easily undo the efforts of all the states around them. We’ve seeing this with COVID right now. Trump basically hobbled the CDC and then let the states figure it out on their own.

      If we could trust the states to hire dispassionate scientists who would provide solid recommendations, that would be fine, but we only have to look at places like Florida which just hired an anti-vaxxer to run the state’s health programs.

      1. “…Trump basically hobbled the CDC and then let the states figure it out on their own…”

        Steaming pile of lefty shit never heard of the Constitution.

      2. States don’t have to act in unison. There is no question that some states may well be OK with having their state turn into an infectious boil if it saves them a couple nickels. But in that case, it is not the CDC that would enforce a cordon sanitaire around that state. The feds only have the authority to quarantine the inbound.

        If a state resisted some CDC rule, it would not be the CDC that enforces it but the military. Which is also unconstitutional. The CDC should not have the delusion that it can call in big brother – because it can’t and once the CDC does that they stop doing science and start doing power.

        An interstate compact is the ONLY means by which states can make agreements with each other. And THAT is really the purpose of having one of those based on public health.

        1. Stuff your PANIC flag up your ass, fuck off and die, chiken little.

      3. This is for anyone who thinks these idiots know what they are talking about. They did not hire an ANTI-VAXXER. Unless of course your definition of an anti vaxxer is someone who thinks that people should be able to choose to get vaccinated or not and also thinks that treatements as well as vaccines are part of how to deal with the disease.

  20. You criticise the test kits, but not a word towards repressing science on treatment options that aren’t experimental vaccines… This is like bitching about chipped paint while you’re getting shot at.

    1. Salted, there aren’t any that are both effective and affordable. Regeneron is about $1k a pop.

    2. There is no “repressed science” there. Even if you believe the US was repressing science in the US, the rest of the planet was free to research whatever they wanted. So far, all of the “treatment options” provided in the right-wing conspirasphere are bogus. None of them peer reviewed and none of them any where near as tested for COVID as the vaccines you distrust. You might as well drink bleach.

  21. Gee, surprising that guy who works for the American Enretrprise Institute would advocate for more private initiative and diffuse responsibility without explaining how leadership during any crisis is critical in helping normal citizens figure out their role. No doubt some the criticism is warranted, but this Trump appointee somehow never mentions Mr. “it will be gone soon” who subbed out early supplies – including testing – to governors so he wouldn’t be responsible. They didn’t like bidding against each other for products necessary for lives.

    Take this with the grain of salt it deserves from a student and stooge of President “blame it all on somebody else”

    1. At least you recognize your failings; there is a chance for recovery.

      Take another red pill. They’re delicious.

    2. “…without explaining how leadership during any crisis is critical in helping normal citizens figure out their role…”

      Poor asshole probably waits for the government signal to take a crap in the morning.

    3. If you consult sources other than the mainstream media, there are several. Several inexpensive treatments have both efficacy and safety. Unfortunately the nobel-prize winners that are no longer manufactured solely under patent are not nearly as lucrative as new patented treatments or vaccines. Hence the suppression. Oh yeah, the Gates Foundation is a major source of funding to almost every major news outlet, and Gates owns Biontech; also, a member of the board of directors of Pfizer is a former director of Reuters and also sits on the board of Reuters’ “philanthropic” arm. To ignore these facts is incredibly naive, or wilfully ignorant.

    4. leadership during any crisis is critical in helping normal citizens figure out their role

      Who the fuck casually uses the phrase “normal citizens”?

      Wait, Joe Friday shows up not too long after Cuomo shit the bed…

  22. Let’s be honest here:
    “Government agencies in general have made what is a relatively mild flu into a major disaster”

    1. Never let a crisis go to waist. And if you can’t find one, make one.

      1. Too much went to my waist during COVID. When I couldn’t find a cookie, I made one. My downfall.

        But hey, I got the vaccine, so I’m at least protected.

        1. Fuck off and die, pile of lefty shit.

  23. The left, and the left alone – which includes their lemmings and minions like Reason, made the pandemic worse.
    Most massive crime against humanity ever committed.

    1. I don’t wholly agree – Trump fumbled around (not entirely his fault, as Piglosi & co. made it their mission to call everything racist) a fair amount, but we didn’t know shit about it at the time and could not make informed decisions.

      Progs now know better but continue to milk the dead horse.

    2. Nardz, you need a little work on your hyperbole.

      And Hitler still keeps the prize for “most massive crime against humanity ever committed.” He still has the record at 6 million dead Jews, plus small numbers of homosexuals and others.

      And LOL… Reason is a lefty minion. I only come here because it’s a cesspool of right-wing idiocy where incels try to outdo each other in their Trumpiness.

      1. You need to fuck off and die.

      2. And Hitler still keeps the prize for “most massive crime against humanity ever committed.” He still has the record at 6 million dead Jews, plus small numbers of homosexuals and others.

        A conservative estimate Hitler’s civilian or non-combatant death count was on the order of 12-14 million civilians. And Stalin and Mao’s death tolls were nearly unequivocally larger.

        Stupid troll is stupid.

        1. “…And Stalin and Mao’s death tolls were nearly unequivocally larger…”
          Perhaps not 100 million; maybe 80 million. Maybe, and the lefty asshole Shawn is not concerned.
          Lefty assholes are commonly revealed as supporters of mass murder – ask commie shit.

  24. The CDC did have some early missteps, but after that the Republicans took the torch on messing up covid and ran with it. They are squarely to blame because they objected to every covid prevention measure.

    1. TDS-addled lefty pieces of shit lie.

    2. But Biden knew how to shut down the virus and save us all. Just wear a mask for 100 days and like magic we were all saved.

      1. Two years to flatten the curve. Like the CDC said from the beginning.

    3. You seem to have short term memory itis. It was the democrats who didn’t trust the vaccine when Trump was in office. It was the democrats who shot down and are still shooting down all alternative treatments. The republicans wanted to cut off all flights from China before it was even in country and the democrats called Trump racist for it. Trump wanted to close the border to mitigate spread and was called racist for it. Trump was at the forefront of promoting the acceleration of vaccine development and distribution as well as alternative treatments, something the left is deathly afraid of for some reason. His policy also involved individual choice when it comes to vaccines vs treatment, which was a better policy than relying exclusively on vaccines, which we now know can not stop the pandemic, nor did they have a chance to from the beginning.

      1. You’re watching far too much FOX “news”

        The Democrats were nearly unanimously in favor of a vaccine. Once or two expressed doubt that Trump could be trusted to oversee the creation of one, though, and given his “drink bleach” routine, that’s understandable.

        There are no peer reviewed “alternative treatments” other than monoclonal antibodies, which no one “shot down.” The rest of the “alternative treatments” are actually more experimental than the vaccines and, importantly, have zero scientific evidence that they even impact the COVID virus in any meaningful way.

        Trump close the border. Biden kept it closed. It’s one of the few things Trump did that was helpful. And yeah, Trump is racist; like that’s even in dispute.

        Vaccines can stop the spread of the disease. Non-symptomatic COVID is unlikely to spread and vaccinated persons are more likely to experience reduced to no symptoms if they experience a breakthrough infection. This was the argument for why kids didn’t need to quarantine, if you’ll recall. Vaccines are the only feasible way to herd immunity. As long as the COVIDiots refuse them, we’re going to have more of the same mask BS we’re all sick of.

        Vaccines vs treatment is a false choice. The only treatments we have for COVID require hospitalization and are prohibitively expensive. The goal is to keep people out of the hospitals and conserve those resources. Nothing else you read about on Facebook or hear on NewsMax is a real, effective “alternative treatment.”

        1. You’re too stupid to post here; fuck off and die.

        2. Once or two expressed doubt that Trump could be trusted to oversee the creation of one, though, and given his “drink bleach” routine, that’s understandable.

          Understandable if you believed you were voting for Trump as Chemist In Chief. Otherwise, there’s no understandable reason to oppose the vaccine under Trump and then support the same vaccine under Biden, unless you were mistaken about Trump.

          Again, my opposition to the vaccine has nothing to do with the biochemistry. I oppose the fact that my taxes were taken, by Trump, to pay for it up front, whether I needed a/the vaccine or not.

          Vaccines are the only feasible way to herd immunity.

          Untrue, even by your own premises. You aren’t even a very good troll.

        3. Shawn, I don’t know if you know who you’re talking to, but your narrative is lost on this crowd. We all know that there are several treatments for covid that are efficacious, safe, and inexpensive. Many of us belong to the highest group of vaccine hesitant–those who hold doctorates. We are well versed in research that extends beyond mainstream media. I understand that you are here to quell the uprising of the intellectuals, but maybe stick to commenting on Huffpost articles where your motives are not so transparent.

          1. Your justification for your choices are irrelevant; they are your choices and do not require defense to assholes like shawn.
            Please do not offer any response to such assholes other than: “please fuck off and die”
            Lefty shits like shawn deserve nothing more.

        4. The Democrats were nearly unanimously in favor of a vaccine. Once or two expressed doubt that Trump could be trusted to oversee the creation of one, though, and given his “drink bleach” routine, that’s understandable.

          No, it was a hell of a lot more than “one or two.”

          Vaccines can stop the spread of the disease

          This one doesn’t, as they carry the same viral loads and the “vaccines” are dead after 6-8 months.

  25. The root problem with the CDC is the missing letter in the initialism, P. The Centers for Disease Control was focused on studying diseases and controlling outbreaks and did it well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a lot of people “focused” on a vague goal of preventing various “diseases”, which are defined as anything they can get funding to prevent, like obesity and smoking and poor diet and guns deaths. You can’t prevent disease any more than you can prevent crime; all you can do is control outbreaks.

    1. What people don’t realize is that the obesity pandemic and the COVID pandemic are intertwined. If not for the obesity pandemic, COVID would not have been dangerous enough to justify lock-downs (of coarse they were never justified to begin with). Then more resources could have been devoted to protecting other high risk individuals. But what can you do about the obesity pandemic, which dwarfs everything else in terms of numbers? Not much aside from educating people and promoting healthy diet and lifestyle. Locking people down like cattle and taking away their dignity and freedom is not the answer to any of these problems.

    2. “all you can do is control outbreaks”
      Not really. COVID is a cold virus that will perpetually mutate. It will be with us forever. We cant live like this forever.

  26. Not to mention the problems with statistics! To this day no one knows how many died from C19 vs merely with it some time in the past. That made it useless as a measurement.

    1. Most covid deaths were deaths from obesity related illness with COVID as a comorbidity factor, but logged the other way around.

    2. This is dumb.

      COVID creates blood clots and if the clot hits your heart or brain, you die from a COVID-related disease. COVID causes pneumonia. If you get pneumonia from COVID, you die from a COVID-related disease.

      Otherwise, no one has ever died from HIV/AIDS because the virus itself doesn’t kill you… it just kills your immune system and lets pretty much anything else take you out.

      The question to ask is this: if you didn’t have COVID, were you still likely to die from x at that time? And for the vast, vast majority of these deaths, the answer is no.

      1. Why is that the question?

        If you weren’t overweight, had diabetes and heart problems, were you still likely to die from COVID at the time?

  27. The Nazi-Regime F’ed up AGAIN???
    Color me not surprised.

    1. Well, we voted the nazis out but their mess still lingers into Biden’s first year.

      1. No, TDS-addled asshole, we got the nazis now.

  28. The chance of children dying from this virus is almost zero, but when the vaccines are mandated for children, a “variant” is sure to arise that starts killing “unvaccinated” children. And by “unvaccinated” I mean the ones who are not officially vaccinated because they have not made it to two weeks past the second shot.

    1. Dying, yes… very close to zero for those states reporting. Catching the disease, about 16% of total cases nationwide are children and the number is rising. Hospitalizations range between 1.6%-4.2% of all cases in the US.

      https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/children-and-covid-19-state-level-data-report/

      1. IOWs, it’s hardly worth page 6.
        Fuck off and die, chicken little.

      2. It’s almost like massive amounts of testing are being done at that level that wasn’t being done a couple months ago…

        1. It’s almost like shawn dude is a lying piece of lefty shit!

          1. Well no. let’s be clear here: Shawn Dude *IS* a lying piece of lefty shit and a pathetic example of ‘chicken little’ besides.
            Asshole shawn? Are you still here to be called on your bullhshit, or as a steaming pile of lefty shit, have you run off and hidden?
            Inquiring (intelligent) minds want to know about fucking lefty ignoramuses like you.

      3. Hospitalizations range between 1.6%-4.2% of all cases in the US.

        Among states reporting, children were 0.00%-0.25% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 7 states reported zero child deaths

        1.6-4.2% hospitalization for 0.00%-0.25% of deaths is a clear misallocation of resources. Kids are being hospitalized for a disease they won’t die from. Might as well deny care to the vaccinated who show up in the hospital because they chose the wrong prevenative action.

        1. As much as I believe this whole thing is overblown (it’s serious, deadly serious, but the panic is overblown), I think you might be missing those serious/severe cases that were hospitalized for cause (need oxygen, perhaps ventilation, perhaps other related medical support that cannot be run out-patient) but who survived. Agreed, serious/severe COVID amongst children is fairly rare (though we’re hearing more since Delta), but what you are actually saying is that most people who are hospitalized for COVID-19 *survive*.
          Is it a misallocation of resources to give these people a chance to survive?

  29. The pandemic was a test of America’s public health bureaucracy.

    God judged Sodom and Gomorrah and found them wanting? It’s kinda messed up as a parable, really fucked up to advance it in rational discussion/good faith. As an agnostic/atheist, *if* the pandemic was a test would make more sense… unless you’re asserting China was the one conducting the test.

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  32. The CDC, FDA and NIH are among the various alphabet agencies that should be disbanded.

  33. Beauracracies do whatever advances the careers of the bureaucrats. It does not matter what it’s official job is. Advancement in the CDC is by academic publications. You don’t get a publication by using an existing proven test or by cooperating with industry. Both the CDC and the FDA are incompetent and in need of swamp draining. The CDC botched Covid starting with Fauchi funding bat virus modification research in China. The FDA drives drug manufacturing overseas, makes new drugs more expensive, and kills people with bureaucratic delay. We are completely dependent on China for critical drug manufacturing chemicals.

  34. People in the chronic pain community that rely on opioids for daily pain relief knew the CDC was screwed up long before COVID spread. The CDC put out guidance in 2016 on use of opioids that picked an arbitrary level (90 Milligram Morphine Equivalent (MME)) and decided that anything above that was “high dose.” Note: people grow tolerant to opioids over long term useand thus require higher MMEs to get equal pain relief. This developing tolerance is highly variable across patients. Picking a one size for all level made no sense. This led to forced tapering and ending of opioid treatment which had the inevitable impact of causing numerous suicides from chronic untreated pain, overdoses as desperate patients switched to risky street drugs (which were increasingly laced with illegal and dangerous fentanyl), and worse quality of life as increased pain forced previously active patients to leave work and other activities (this decreased activity has other negative impacts on health).

    The push for the opioid guidelines was done in part because CDC miscounted the number of opioid related deaths because they apparently forgot that opioids break down into other opioid metabolites. This caused the CDC to count each death associated with opioid use multiple times because they counted each death based on any metabolite found as being caused by that metabolite. This lead to double or triple counting deaths. They didn’t fix this obvious error until long after the guidelines were the basis for new laws, lawsuits, and policy changes.

    The CDC was broken long ago and needs to be replaced. A firing of all staff involved in CDC’s many failures is the minimum that should happen at this point. CDC should also stick closer to its early remit which focused on infectious diseases.

  35. The CDC screws up all the time.

    In addition, Suderman, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Mass testing could have slowed the spread, it couldn’t have prevented it. Since the US healthcare system wasn’t overwhelmed by COVID, the spread was slow enough.

    Mass testing would have been pointless.

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