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CDC director: Scientific integrity not altered

Coronavirus Pandemic

Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Health Adm. Brett Giroir puts his mask back on after speaking at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on a "Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts" on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
By The Associated Press undefined

WASHINGTON — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Senate lawmakers that his agency has not altered its scientific publications on the coronavirus.

That comes despite pressure from Trump officials who allege the agency has worked against the re-election of President Donald Trump.

Dr. Robert Redfield testified that the CDC’s “scientific integrity … has not been compromised and it will not be compromised under my watch.”

Last week news outlets reported that Michael Caputo, a Health and Human Services Department political appointee, tried to gain editorial control over CDC’s weekly scientific report. In a separate online video last week, Caputo reportedly said some CDC scientists constituted a “resistance unit” conspiring against the Trump administration.

Redfield rejected the allegation and says he was “deeply saddened” by the comments.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the committee’s top Democrat, says the apparent political pressure on CDC, among other health agencies, had damaged public trust in federal health information.

Also Wednesday, the U.S. government released a sweeping plan to make vaccines for the coronavirus available for free to all Americans, assuming a safe and effective shot is developed.