Tell the Trump admin: Stop suppressing science on coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak has put new scrutiny on the US government's ability to manage a potential public health crisis. During this crisis, it is imperative that the US government collect and report robust scientific information about where the COVID-19 is spreading, how to control the spread, and who is most at risk. Lives are literally at stake.
Unfortunately, the response we've seen from the current administration has fallen unacceptably short. They have ignored or sidelined expert staff at agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, offered the public inconsistent and confusing information, and muzzled scientists.
Write Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the task force on coronavirus, to demand that the administration stop suppressing science and offer a real action plan to address this public health emergency.
To: Vice President Mike Pence
As a concerned member of the public, I am relying on the expert knowledge of federal health officials and scientists to guide my decision making during the current coronavirus pandemic. I should be able to hear directly from these experts without political clearance or approval – and certainly free from political manipulation.
Yet the actions the administration has taken do just the opposite. It is unacceptable to sideline expert staff at agencies working to address this crisis, to distort health data collection for political purposes, to restrict the ability of scientists from directly communicating important information, and to spread inconsistent and confusing information to the public.
The administration must halt attempts to suppress critical scientific information and create a plan for how the administration will resource and support federal scientists' ability to address this crisis.
There is no substitute for experienced government professional staff who are focused on the public interest. That becomes even more critical in times of emergency. Along with most of the American public, I trust scientists and health professionals, and they need to be able to provide us with the unvarnished truth about the threat posed by COVID-19 and viable solutions moving forward. My family's lives, and millions of lives throughout the country, are at stake.
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