The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention faces renewed criticism for its handling of COVID-19 pandemic guidance and information. This follows a New York Times article raising numerous questions, asking why the health agency has withheld or delayed releasing information to the public.
The areas of this withheld information include COVID-19 hospitalization data including age, race, and vaccination status, as well as information about the efficacy of booster vaccines among people ages 18 to 49, the group least likely to benefit from the shots.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC reportedly has also possessed data from some states and cities detailing the amount of coronavirus in wastewater but only recently began making that information available to the general public.
While the CDC has not yet responded to CBN News, a spokesperson told the New York Times in part that the information "wasn't ready for primetime." The CDC's Kristen Nordlund said the agency must ensure details are "accurate and actionable." She also reportedly admitted concern the data might be misinterpreted, such as vaccines being ineffective.
Political analyst Nathan Gonzalez, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, told CBN News that Americans were already skeptical of government even before the pandemic. He said the idea that the CDC would withhold information from the public only deepens the problem.
"This is bad news," he said. "Now that we're two years into the pandemic and we get this story from The New York Times it just creates even more distrust."
Gonzalez sees one main way the CDC can rebuild that trust: tell Americans the whole truth.
"Give out more information," he said. "But put it in proper context. Give people the tools to know how to use the information in order for them to make the best decisions for their lives and for their family."
Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., author of Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic told CBN News the CDC demonstrated an inability to properly communicate to the American public during a pandemic.
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"So we didn't have an organization capable of doing that. We sort of surmised that CDC would be up to that task but it wasn't," Gottlieb said.
He says the CDC has a reputation of being slow at processing and sharing information. "We need a better capability to gather and disseminate information in a real-time fashion. CDC wasn't really up to that challenge. "
So while the COVID-19 pandemic presented brand new challenges to the CDC, critics say the agency should learn from its messaging mistakes and make fundamental changes before any future health emergency.