“We’ve been muzzled,” said a current CDC official. “What’s tough is that if we would have acted earlier on what we knew and recommended, we would have saved lives and money.”…
A senior official inside the CDC told CNN that the agency also alerted the White House to the virus’s rapid spread across Europe, but that “the White House was extremely focused on China and not wanting to anger Europe … even though that’s where most of our cases were originally coming from.”
Some experts say the worst consequence of the frayed relationship is a general sense that the CDC has lost its place as the face and voice of public health in the midst of a 100-year pandemic.
“The CDC … were part of the mistakes with the early problems with testing, and it seemed like after that, they weren’t trusted as much,” said James Curran, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a former CDC official. But, he added, “there’s no place in the world that has more epidemiologists and scientists studying respiratory infections. … We need them now.”