The US reopening plan will not adhere to the 17-page draft recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a CDC official.
President Donald Trump’s administration will not implement the guidelines released by CDC for reopening America, a senior CDC member told CNN on Thursday
CDC’s guidelines contain detailed suggestions that go beyond the reopening guidelines the administration published last month. The guidance presents specific suggestions for schools and churches.
Trump recently stressed the importance to reopen the US economy despite warnings from public health officials.
CNN’s source said that the White House will not follow their 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America after the government requested it.
The Associated Press first reported about the White House’s decision to not use the guidance.
“We are used to dealing with a White House that asks for things and then chaos ensues. A team of people at the CDC spent innumerable hours in response to an ask from Debbie Birx,” said the source.
“The 17-page report represents an ask from the White House Task Force to come up with these recommendations. That’s our role. To put together this guidance.”
Meanwhile, a task force official suggested before to CNN that Trump’s guidelines for reopening the country was sufficient. The guidelines released in April “made clear that each state should open up in a safe and responsible way based on the data and response efforts in those individual states.”
An internal debate
An administration official also told CNN that CDC executives had not seen the draft document before it became publicly available. Also, there were two concerns when the task force had it. It was “overly prescriptive” because “guidance in rural Tennessee shouldn’t be the same guidance for urban New York City.” Moreover, the recommendations did not reflect the “phases” that the task force already outlined.
The task force sent the document back to the CDC for revisions. However, the revisions did not return to them. According to the administration official, they were not aware if there was a decision at CDC level to fully set aside the idea.
The draft document became the subject of heated internal debate, according to a senior administration official. The task force found the the recommendations too specific and might not be useful as nationwide guidance.
Birx, an official on the White House coronavirus task force, had an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. She said that improving the CDC recommendations will “make sure that both the American people, as well as public health officials, understand the guidelines.”
Birx noted that she “just got my edits back from the CDC late yesterday.”
She added that she is “working on it as soon as I get off of this discussion.”
“We are in constant work with the CDC and really value their partnership,” she said.
The draft document laid out six categories: child care programs; schools and day camps; communities of faith; employers with vulnerable workers; restaurants and bars; mass transit administrators. Each category requires reopening in phases.
However, the senior CDC official revealed that certain sectors were lobbying the White House and could influence the guidelines.
Trump declines new normal
Meanwhile, Trump hinted last week that he would not sign any document that advocates for a new normal.
“I see the new normal being what it was three months ago. I think we want to go back to where it was,” Trump said at a meeting with executives from the restaurant and hospitality sectors.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany emphasized the White House’s initiative to allow governors to carry out their own guidelines.
“This is a governor-led effort. The President has said that governors make the decisions as to move forward and we encourage them to follow our phased approach,” McEnany said.
CNN’s source said that the decision to not accept the CDC’s guidance reflects the ongoing tension that transpired between the top US health agency and the White House.