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The CDC has always been an apolitical island

Statnews – That’s left it defenseless against Trump: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s top public health agency, is being kicked around by the White House. And it doesn’t have much power to kick back. As President Trump spars with nearly all of the federal agencies that have a hand in his administration’s much-maligned response to the coronavirus pandemic, he’s been particularly successful at sidelining the CDC. There’s good reason. The CDC, far more than other agencies, struggles with a slew of structural and cultural issues that have left the agency ill-equipped to fend off political attacks, or even to build up the political capital that could have helped it navigate the stark spotlight it finds itself in now. With nearly all of its staff — including its director — based in Atlanta, the agency relies on a tiny D.C. office, currently leaderless, to navigate interactions with the White House or Capitol Hill. Even when the rest of its staff are taken into account, the CDC has just a fraction of the connected political staffers that can help other health-focused agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in their Washington liaisons. And while deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies and influential research universities often help agencies like FDA and the National Institutes of Health press Congress for bigger budgets and influence, they have little to gain by advocating for CDC…”

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