Marked change in tone in CDC meat plant reports raises questions
The show we did nine eastern on. Msnbc thank you for being here. I want to start tonight by introducing you to Dr Jane Willcox. She's a cardiologist. Works at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago before I started this role. I was nervous and a little anxious facing different disease process than I'd ever seen before I trained during h one n one and while I remember the occasional sad case of a young healthy person coming to this disease I was not prepared to enter into an entire unit and multiple units with troves of relatively healthy patients who are now fighting for their life with Kobe. Pneumonia when these release started getting tough in my unit it was a Sunday and I was working and we were putting breathing tube after breeding these patients. We got up to fourteen or fifteen ventilators in our eighteen bed. Icu and it was just one after the other and we were all scared. Nobody knows how to navigate this. And we're just taking it shift-by-shift in day by day trying to get overwhelmed. One of the things. That's really hard for us is as ICU. Nurses we're used to having constant access to our patients. We have very sick patients. And we're used to going in there and assessing and reassessing them but now we have to really close to our care to try to cut down exposure time in the room. The last time in the room the less time we have to be exposed the disease the less chance we have of bringing home through our family. But that's also really hard because we're under constant worry that we're gonNA miss something. We're going to miss a new symptom. We're GONNA miss a new vital part of information that comes from our assessments. I wish I knew the sheer volume of patients that would have north western. I wish I knew how sick they would be Because that would have helped me prepare a little. Bit Better Mentally Nurse now for about twelve thirteen years. But I've never seen patients that are sick I just wish I knew how many resources each patient would be requiring. These patients require a lot of care. It's very heavy care. It's a lot of specialized machines. These patients have no family around to be there or in the last moments. And you try everything you try so hard to keep these people alive to make them better to hope that they'll get excavated in the ICU. But unfortunately I've just seen so many of them die. I think this is also taking a toll on all of the staff. We'VE RUN OUT OF LEAD TUBING WE'VE run out of suction devices for the mouth We've run out of blood gas syringes things that we take for granted on a day to day basis. It's hard to stay positive like I said earlier. We are all trying so hard to do everything for these patients. We're giving them. Maximum oxygen support their on numerous medications to support them and we'll get these patients and have them for days and will think maybe they'll get better. Maybe they just need time and may still die said that time frontline health care providers doctors and nurses both working in Chicago and Saint Louis Missouri. That lost young woman. There is a nurse from Maryland who volunteered to come to New York City to serve on the front lines at the apex. Of New. York's fight you can see. She's pretty flattened by what she has gone through. I want to show you one more tonight though that we just got in from a senior physician at Mount Sinai in New York. His name is Dr Mush Good Wani and he is a cardiac critical care. Physician Watch this welcome to another day in covert land bright and sunny and it seems like things maybe slowing down a little bit. Not really for the ICU. Because we've been helping our sister hospitals in Brooklyn Queens who've really gotten disproportionately affected by this disease. And so we've been taking patients from there and then a couple of patients from the field hospital in central park so the I was going to stay busy for Ohio There are lots of patients who are intimated and on a breathing machine who's really courses yet to be determined and obviously the hope is that we can see most if not all of them. We're GONNA start rounds and the way the rounds are structured is typically in the normal ICU. They will be a senior resident doctor known as a fellow who specializing in that specialty. But right now everybody specialties. All mixed up. It doesn't matter. What their specialties? Everyone is pitching in talking about the next patient. So we have him on all the groups we have. He's currently all leave on Bazo at sable. He sedated and paralyzed Off Land and he's on an insulin drip for hike. Licey getting dialysis as on. Tv H is giving mechanical ventilation support. Everyone here is getting like Catechal. Support Mechanical ventilator artificial kidney and six IB drips at the same time in. What are you GonNa do today to help with the Dialysis Catheter? For and why are we putting? O'neill dialysis catheters. Oh that's a good question so a lot of patients are going into kidney failure and where we're kind of this machine. So this is an alternative method of performing dialysis. These do you think it's time to relax a little bit? And back off on social distancing and wearing masks absolutely not population of patients. It's still very much active. And we're working really hard to take care of. These patients. Got Them better so you think that if we back off. The beauty surgeons the cases absolutely. It's just way Amina is experienced cardiac nurse and I'm going to ask a very important question. Do you think it's time to start backing off on social distancing. I think we have to continue what we've been doing or else we are going to you first. Everything that conflict that is still quite a substantial burden of illness and severity or multi organ failure. We have patients who have not responded to all the usual interventions. The big fear now is what happens next. Are we going to see recrudescence of this illness? Are we going to see spikes coming back especially as we start to relax and loosen some of the restrictions? They have to be prepared because we have really learned a lot from this real. I opening life-changing CDs of events has happened over the last few months or so this I opening the life changing series of events that has happened over these last two months or so eye opening life-changing. Yes I mean we are all experiencing that right last two months have been really freaking weird and terrible but none of us have had the life changing eye opening experience. That's comparable to the sixty five thousand Americans who have lost their lives already and their families. None of us have gone through what the tens of thousands of Americans have gone through. Who fought this thing almost to the death and then survived. I think we've been asking for frontline. Healthcare workers to send US stuff. I think there's a reason that hospital staff keep sending us videos like these celebrating filming and capturing for posterity the triumphant release of some of their patients from the hospital. It's clear that they really feel like they need to uphold that. It is possible for hospitalized corona virus patients to still beat it to still survive to finally get to go home because people do get so sick from this virus and they need such intense care in the hospital. I think the doctors and nurses want us to see this ourselves so that we don't give hope but I think they also need it for themselves so that they don't give hope because they are working so hard with people who are so sick with such a confounding confounding virus for which there is as yet no treatment so yeah. We have all had an eye opening life-changing last two months or so Dr Gidwani said But none of us civilians have had what the doctors and nurses have had been working in these swamped hospitals in these cove. Emergency rooms and converted covert only. I see us but then of course there's one other group of Americans who has been right at the front of the front line just as much as the hospital. Workers have been people who have been caring for tons of covert patients. People who have been putting themselves at risk getting infected in great numbers themselves because they haven't had enough protective equipment to keep themselves safe while they care for large numbers of corona virus patients and those Americans have had different couple of months than the rest of us have to a difficult dangerous life-changing past couple of months and they are the largely underpaid often totally unrecognized people who work in nursing homes. Where where we know. The virus has been exacting a toll of biblical proportions among the population of Americans who reside in nursing homes and long term CARE FACILITIES. But because of that. There is something else that I want to show you tonight this Friday night. We've been in touch with frontline health pervert providers in hospitals We have been talking about the fact that more Americans are dying from this epidemic in nursing homes than any other single place the place. You are most at risk of both getting this virus and dying from it in America is in a nursing home so if we the American people want to save the most lives we have to focus on the places where the most lives are at risk we have to start to see the nursing homes and long term care facilities around us literally. I mean we need to know where they are in your town in your county wherever you live in America listening to me right now in your town in your Cownie. The place where the most lives are going to be stolen by this thing are the lives in nursing homes and long term care facilities so you should know where these communities these facilities are in your community. You should if you're part of any activist group any political group any Church or synagogue or mosque any civic group you should know if the nursing homes around you first of all you should know who they are where they are and you should know if the nursing homes around you need something if they need things they don't have. You should figure out if there is some way that you can help them get help. I mean I'm speaking very broadly here. Not Trying to start a movement or anything. But I'm just saying in terms of where Americans are dying. That's where Americans are dying and there isn't any help coming from the top. There's sort of happy coming from the talk now. Top now about this from Washington but there really hasn't been any help coming from the top coming from the federal government to try to keep Americans alive in this most vulnerable place and so local communities are going to have to do this from the ground up in order to keep as many people alive as possible in these facilities where there otherwise just being cut down and I want to show you this tonight because people look really are starting to show up for their local nursing homes all over the country. This is today in Lexington North Carolina Davidson County North Carolina. They had three residents die last week at this one facility from Corona virus. They've got forty one corona virus cases among the residents there now at Allston Brooke Nursing Facility. Well this today is the town. The county the community there in North Carolina showing up for them. And you know you can't visit nursing home. You can't come inside. You can't put the residents to any further risk but this is a way to try to connect that's North Carolina. This was from Glens Falls New York yesterday. Five different nursing homes were visited their word apparently thirty or so cars. People put signs on their cars thanking the people who work there reaching out to the people who live there. These were from Tuesday and Wednesday this week. People again turning out to think and connect with their local nursing homes and people working there and living there literally the Americans whose lives are most endangered by this disaster. This is a fountain in South Carolina. We've also got footage from Albertville Alabama Albertville has had a big outbreak centered. Big Chicken plant there. But as we know outbreaks in one kind of a facility do not tend to stay inside that facility and so if you've got a big meat processing plant that's got a whole bunch of cases you are soon going to have a bunch of cases in your nursing home in your community to says the highly contagious communicable disease. That's how it's going to work. I should also say vice versa. If you've got a lot of cases in your nursing homes you're going to get cases in your community you're ultimately going to get cases in places where it is going to spread like wildfire especially aggregate work environments. That aren't closed like meat processing plants. Here's some pictures from other people turning out to support their local nursing homes in their communities in Brunswick Maine Lubbock Texas. We got some pictures. It's it's everywhere. It's happening now everywhere spontaneously. It's really nice to see. These are all just photos and videos taken just over the past few days. We've also heard that. A charity called Global Empowerment Mission. That was working to get donations to healthcare facilities. They also started organizing p. p. e. donations for nursing home staff now as well that had not been part of what they're working on from the outset but now they've realized that nursing homes need this material for their staff as well and they've started helping nursing homes too. It's a big charity effort. Lots of high dollar donations. One of the places are now starting to focus on is nursing homes. That's great. Here's what I want you to see from new hope Minnesota and and this was actually a week ago now but the story behind. This is interesting last week. This story ran in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the Saint Therese of New Hope Nursing Home. Right very worrying headline last week very worrying situation. This is a two hundred and fifty eight bed nursing home. This is the Star Tribune reporting last Wednesday But they had twelve deaths at that nursing home from Corona virus. Later that day this happened outside that nursing home people coming out to support that nursing home The people who live there people who work there trying to lift them up. You can see the signs that people are holding their we stand united. Thank you for all you do. Your all sunshine for your residents. We stand united. I stand with Saint Therese. Thank you but the situation at that facility which it is great to see them getting community support situation there has really bad that facility as I mentioned was reporting twelve deaths as of last week that appears to have been what prompted this rally in support of them. Twelve last week will now as this week they are reporting forty-seven deaths at that facility. Forty seven people have died there of the remaining residents at that facility. They've got one hundred and thirty positive cases and they only know that because they were just this week able to finally get everybody tested about facility. I mean listen. Our government may have really screwed up the response to this crisis and they may be continuing to screw it up. I will tell you. The administration yesterday finally announced that they're thinking about maybe getting together. Some experts some big brains to maybe start thinking about talking about what we might maybe could do about the fact that best. Guess maybe twenty thousand Americans possibly more have already been cut down in nursing homes in less than two months by this virus. They just yesterday announced that they're gonNA think about getting a group together at the federal level to start thinking about that. They want you to know how urgently they are considering this considering this problem they are going to meet for the first time they think in late. May sometime date. They're just aiming. It may be trying to convene for the first time in late. May government has not been johnny on the spot when it comes to trying to keep Americans alive in any significant numbers and the glaring. I don't exactly know what to call it in polite company the glaring. It's not an aptitude. It's not in capability. I WANNA call it unwillingness but I don't know the worst of what they have failed to do is evident in the places where the most Americans are dying. They've done nothing and the administration so screwed up the testing situation for the whole country from the very outset that now even months into this now with sixty five thousand Americans dead. It's still hard to get testing even for the facilities where the most people are dying. They most desperately need to test people because they need to know who positive so they can isolate them from the people who aren't who were at grave risk of getting it and then dying from it. I mean the government has just absolutely screwed this up and it is not getting any better but we know as Americans. We have lived long enough to know who needs priority access to tests and where the most help is needed and where people are at the most risk in Minnesota where that facility. Saint Therese of new hope is is located. They think that nearly eighty percent of deaths in the state have been in nursing homes nearly eighty percent of the deaths in Minnesota. Yeah where do you think you ought to focus your resources there and the outbreak the epidemic? Minnesota doesn't have to start in these facilities but sure that's where it ends up. And that's where it'll take the most lives test their try to keep the people they're alive. They're at the most risk of dining. The quickest in the greatest numbers Saint Therese of new hope. Just got everybody. Tested in Sioux Falls. South Dakota where the huge outbreak there was centered on the Big Smithfield. Meat Processing Plant. Today one large nursing home in Sioux falls announced seven new deaths seven Americans in Grand Island Nebraska. Where the big outbreak there is also centered on a B. S. meat processing plant. Their local health director just announced ten new nursing home deaths. Yesterday I mean Test Andy Shall Find. We know where it is. We know where it's going to be. Go look there and you will find a facility that needs help and where the people living there and or working. There need more protection than they have got. Why is this so hard to focus our efforts like this Montgomery County Pennsylvania this week? They finally got their hands on enough tests to test everybody at the Montgomery County jail as of last week at that jail they thought they knew how many cases they had once they tested everyone. They found that the actual infection rate at that jail was thirty times higher than what they thought they were dealing with. And that isn't just like a wool. Math moment. That then of course requires action to prevent the other eighty percent of the prisoners in that facility from getting infected by the fifteen to twenty percent. They have just discovered already have it and you can't count on only testing. People have symptoms are only isolating people who have symptoms. It doesn't matter if you have symptoms you have to test people if they're positive they can infect other people whether or not they have symptoms. It's not rocket science but you have to test as of today. We have the third largest prison outbreak in the country. Newly discovered that Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Trousdale County Tennessee. How did they find that? They had one thousand three hundred forty nine new cases at that prison in Trousdale County Tennessee today. They found that out because they tested the freaking prison at long last they tested twenty seven hundred prisoners there more than half. Have it? Okay now you have to act to prevent everybody else from getting it both prisoners and staff in that facility. It is a call to action. It tells you where the problem is. And what you need to do. Tennessee's governor says he's now looking for resources to try to test all of the other prisons in the state of Tennessee because this is the first one they tested and they turned up the third largest outbreak in America. I mean it'll be great if when they test all of the other prisons in Tennessee. They don't find huge numbers in all of them but if and when they do that will be important. Information about what will likely be some of the biggest outbreaks in the country. Some of the biggest outbreaks on earth in a state that may or may not be prepared to handle both what that means for those prisons and jails but also what would already have meant for the communities around those facilities that all the staff go home to at the end of every shift because once you find out that you've got more than thirteen hundred cases inside the prison. Guess what you're about to learn about what's going on the community outside your prison. It's here in huge numbers. We have an absolutely enormous corona virus epidemic in this country. We've got more than one point. One million known cases and Bupkus for testing when we do have tests when we test the places we know by now are likely to be places where it is spreading unchecked. We are consistently finding supersized numbers everywhere. Yesterday we reported on the results of testing at the Tyson meat. Plant IN LOGAN'S PORT INDIANA. This is CASS. County Indiana. Were at the start of the week. Local county officials declared a county wide public health emergency. They started testing all the employees at that Tyson plant and found nearly nine hundred of them were positive corona virus. That's what we learned yesterday. Eight hundred nine hundred workers at one plant today we learned. They're going to reopen the plan with nearly nine hundred people who work there positive already in Nobles County Minnesota where the epidemic has centered on a big J. J. BS meat processing plant They've got nearly nine hundred cases now in that county that county has only twenty thousand people. It's an increase in Nobles County of two hundred and thirty five percent in one week in terms of the number of cases. And wonder what that's all coming from in Saint Joseph Missouri. A meat plant. There reported that they had zero cases as of two weeks ago last week. They reported forty-six cases. Yesterday they reported one hundred and twenty six cases today reported two hundred ninety five cases the company who owns that plant telling the Kansas City star quote we will continue to use this information at triumph foods in developing our daily stuffing and work plans. Yup that's at least but right but at least you can now do that because you have test results that tell you you know at a bare minimum. Who really can't be coming to work right now. Symptoms are not in Nebraska where the state government doesn't treat cases in meat plants. Where THE GOVERNOR SAYS? He doesn't think the virus spreads in meat plants at all the workers must be getting it at home in. Nebraska where the meat plants themselves are not exactly being pushed by the state government to disclose to the public when their employees weirdly coincidentally all turn out to keep getting corona virus. The Big Meat Plant in Dakota City Nebraska. Did just test their employees. That plant has steadfastly refused to release the number of positive employees at that plant. It's been open all this time but there have been a lot of suspicions about what's going on there because the surrounding metro area there it's Dakota City Nebraska but the surrounding metro area. There's actually Sioux City Iowa and the Sioux City Iowa era has started to notice a big spike in cases in the community and people turning up at the hospitals unexpectedly large numbers and local mayors Sioux city. Area have been pleading for two to the to the governor's to the company's pleased to get some information about where all these cases in the Sioux City area might becoming from well that plant into Kota City. Nebraska has now done testing of their employees and somebody leaked to the city journal. The results six hundred sixty nine positives among people working at that plant nearly seven hundred cases among people who work at that plant. That's over fifteen percent of the adult workforce of all of Dakota City Nebraska. It's amazing what happens when you test for it even if your governor chooses not to believe it's happening. This was a protest today in Lebanon County Pennsylvania where people who work at the huge local Belen Evans. Chicken plant say that multiple workers facility have died from corona virus already That Belen Evans Plant has released zero public information about corona virus cases among its employees. They won't even address whether any of their employees have died from it and so today that earned them a mock funeral procession around the plant to try to get someone's attention government's response to this is terrible but we can all see the places that need attention not looking is not a safe way to hide this stuff and I'm not point. We have an exclusive story. You have not seen anywhere else. We think we've dug up something. That may be important. And we've got that story here exclusively next ready freshen up your hair color. Madison Reed has your back. They'll deliver a kit with everything you need including step by step instructions directly to your door. Each kit starts at just twenty two dollars and you can determine your perfect shade with Madison reads Color Quiz Online. Try on tool. How would you look as a blonde a Brunette? Maybe a redhead. You can virtually try on different colors all from the comfort of your home. And if you're worried about coloring your hair on your own don't be I did mine. And it was totally fuss-free and my color looks like I just came from this lawn get ammonia free multidimensional hair-color delivered to your door starting at twenty two dollars at Madison Dash Free Dot com use code motto to get ten percent off plus free shipping on your first color kit again that's code motto at Madison Dash Reed Dot Com. Hey it's Chris. As this week on my podcast wise is happening. I'll be talking with my friend. Heather mcghee about the book. She's writing about how American racism ends up hurting us. All societies that has a public health system that is highly functioning well coordinated and well resourced are obviously going to do better in a public health crisis and we have resisted that in the richest country on the planet in large part for the past one hundred years because of racism. That's this week on. Why is this happening search for? Why is this happening? Wherever you're listening right now and subscribe earlier this week. I raised a worry about a CBC investigation that recently happened at the Smithfield meat processing plant in Sioux Falls. South Dakota that's been linked to well over one thousand cases in the Sioux falls area. Cdc of course. There's a long history of investigating public health emergencies. They've got world class specialized disease. Detectives That that work on things like this. They've got the whole epidemic intelligence service at the CDC and these are the folks that actually get dispatched into the field to investigate the root. Cause when there's an E coli outbreak or a TB outbreak or a sudden spike in legionnaire's cases and a veteran's home somewhere. I mean these are. These are great. Scientists they're brave and interesting and intrepid. They go out onto the field small teams and the investigate and they write short punchy report. That explains what happened. And that has actionable guidance. In it so local officials can get a handle on whatever health crisis they have been dealing with. You invited the. Cdc They Send Their Elite Disease Detectives They. That team figures out what happened. They tell you in no uncertain terms with no minced words. What you need to do to fix it and then you fix it. That's what's supposed to happen. That's what does happen every time we know of that the CDC has done an epidemiological investigation in a public health. Emergency that is the system. That is how it works. That is not what happened though when the CDC visited that meat packing plant in Sioux Falls. South Dakota with that big important. Scary outbreak there. Now I WANNA be clear. There's no reason to think there was anything wrong with the investigation or with what the scientists figured out about the outbreak at the Smithfield plant or what needed to be done to run that plant without continuing to spread the virus like wildfire wildfire there among its employees. The investigation itself seems to have been totally normal. Cdc totally normal and sound. What was not normal was the report that was issued at the end of it instead of issuing a CDC report with clear cut directives like CDC always does weirdly in a way that I have never seen before CDC instead. Put out a report on what happened at that. Plant in Sioux falls that repeatedly told the plant there to consider implementing certain protocols to do things if feasible and when possible right at the top of that reported even said this quote these recommendations are discretionary and are not required or mandated by CDC. Cdc does not say things like that in these kinds of reports. What is that doing here? Where did that come from? Who added that so on Tuesday night? We brought you. That report is sort of raised that. Worry it's when I asked. Cdc Are you okay as of tonight we still do not know exactly what has gone wrong at CDC. We have an idea but we haven't yet nailed it down totally but we have narrowed it down to a two day period in terms of exactly when it seems things went bad and I can show you what happened before and after in that two day window. So here it is. This is a report that hasn't previously been made public. This is a report that was issued by CDC team after they visited the big GPS meat plant in Greeley Colorado that has also been dealing with its own large corona virus outbreak. And as you can see this report on the Colorado situation. It's dated April Twentieth. Unlike the report that was written about the Smithfield. South Dakota plant just two days later. This one is totally normal. This one is very straightforward quote. These recommendations are intended specifically for the J really beef plant the health and Safety Committee Labor representatives should develop an implementation plan for these and any other interventions to be rolled out in the workforce that's how CBC talks officials should develop an official should develop an implementation plan. Here's what you're GONNA do. I mean that is a far cry from what we saw just two days later. In the Sioux Falls SMITHFIELD REPORT. These recommendations are discretionary and not required or mandated. Right and this is the same agency. Visiting meat plants right around the exact same time plants that are confronting exactly the same kind of crises. But something happened at CDC in the span of those two days. Right I mean. They put up the Greeley Report Colorado report. It's normal two days later. They put up their Sioux falls report. And there's all this mealy mouth non. Cdc language that tells the plant they don't actually have to do anything look at the juxtaposition. Here's what the CDC CDC told the plant in Greeley Colorado on April twentieth emphasize that face coverings must cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely two days later. Here's what they told the Smithfield plant in Sioux falls face coverings are generally recommended so you go from must cover the news and mouth at times to generally recommended. Here's the Colorado Guidance from April twentieth provide all entrance to the plan with a face covering and show them how it needs to be worn two days later for the South Dakota report quote. If feasible all employees should wear the face covering if feasible. But if not you're fine the CDC in the April Twentieth Colorado Report says teach workers to ask for new face coverings when there's becomes dirty wet and or difficult debris through two days later in the South Dakota South Dakota report. It's not nearly so stern quote the facial covering should be discarded and replaced when dirty or wet if possible to that if possible but you know. Colorado Plant April twentieth was told stagger breaks to minimize the total number of workers that are in common areas locker rooms lunch rooms and hallways at the same time somehow. Two days later in South Dakota that guidance becomes staggered shifts. Start Times and break times as much as feasible. Cdc In April Twentieth tells the Colorado Plant Put handwashing stations. The outdoor break areas to encourage handwashing. They also told to install handwashing stations or additional sanitizer dispensers in the lunchroom but two days later in the South Dakota report. That plant was told portable hand. Washing facilities could be utilized. They could be if you want April twentieth and Colorado says this physical barriers should not be used as a replacement for maintaining at least six feet between workers however when that is not possible barriers can be installed two days later in South Dakota. The was feeling a little different about that telling that plant to quote. Consider the following actions to physically separate employees. Consider them think about these then. There's just the last one here's what the CDC recommended in Colorado Report on April twentieth of quote ensure all workers who have fever of one hundred point four degrees or more are sent directly to secondary screening provide specimen collection and ordering of Kovic. Nineteen testing on site for workers during secondary screening. Who are found found to have fever and symptoms. Colorado report says quote entrance who are not workers at the plant who indicate they've had a fever or symptoms should not be allowed entry to the plan. Now that's the report from Colorado April Twentieth. How in the span of two days did that guidance get more into this for the South Dakota report quote if possible specifically ask employees about recent history of fever if possible but we know it might not be possible? We don't know what happened at CDC between April twentieth when they were still behaving like CDC and April twenty second when they were this new thing. But I'm telling you something happened and the CDC is not behaving go away it always has been and the. We really need them to be behaving right now. We have narrowed down now to a two day window in which something broke. And I'm telling you we are GONNA figure this out more on this story straight ahead. Stay with us. This is the headline at the medical news outlets stat news today quote. We need the real. Cdc back and we need it now. Quote since the beginning of the cove in nineteen pandemic the CDC has been inexplicably absent. An Americans are suffering and dying for it. Cdc has been slow and it's response inadequate in an area where it is always excelled evidence based guidance throughout this pandemic. It's been slow in coming confusing and not necessarily evidence based Americans reliance. Adc FOR EVIDENCE BASED GUIDANCE. We have not received it. This piece at stat news was written by Dr Sheesh Jaw. He's the director of the Harvard. Public Health Institute is a professor at Harvard Medical School. He's also a practicing physician in public health expert. Who says he's worried among other things about the mushy week watered-down guidance dribbling out of the CDC in the middle of the greatest public health threat. This country has seen what is screwing things up at the CDC right now at this time when we need them the most Joining us now is Dr Shaw. He's director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. Dr John. Thank you for taking time to be here. I know there's a lot of demands on your time right now until thank you so much for having me. I wanted to talk to you tonight because honestly I was struck by the bluntness of your criticism of CDC in this piece. I have been chasing something. That is driving me crazy. Which is that. I feel like the CDC started to produce very non CDC like guidance or lack of guidance when it came to them investigating that big meat plant outbreak in in South Sioux Falls. South Dakota I'm worried that there's something broken inside. Cdc which is why we're not getting the kind of guidance that you say we really need. Yes original this has been baffling to all of us in the public health world in writing. This piece was one of the most painful things I've done in a long time. I grew up as a public health person loving admiring the CDC arguing believing that it is the best public health agency in the world and the scientists are still there but in this entire pandemic has been one fiasco after another and it's either possible that all scientists sudden forgot their signs or there's something at the leadership level that's really hindering them and my theory is is much more the lap and we've seen it repeatedly. They messed up the testing. They haven't collected the data the guidance that you've been laying out has been mushy and often not evidence base and my sense is that the leadership of the CDC has has been sidelined In a way that is really really awful to the American people will say that one of the things that I kind of woke up the other day. I don't sleep very well anymore. Everybody feels this way but I woke up the other day with just thinking you know I in the movie version of this one. I have imagined America being in a major public health crisis that captures all of our attention and changes our lives. I think that we should be getting briefings from doctors every day like. I don't think that we should be getting. Don't care whether or not we're getting noise from the president every day. Which shouldn't there be a CDC briefing every day. At the very start of this. There was an just something as simple as that as the CDC itself. Speaking on its own terms. Independent of any politician offering scientific information and explaining it seems like just a basic thing that we. I think we expected. And it's weird that we don't have it absolutely and so you would think that the CDC would be the source of data and evidence for this pandemic. And when I started writing this piece I called a public health experts in friends around the country and I said look if you want to know how many covered cases we have in the US. Where do you start? No-one said the CDC. I said humming hospitalizations. There are for Kobe. Where do you go? No-one said the CDC CDC has just been absent and that it isn't because they all of a sudden forgot how to do all of this. There's clearly been a decision to sideline the CDC to make sure that they're not collecting presenting data to the American people and it makes the work of all public health officials across the country. Much much harder we need the CDC BACK. We really do. We're GONNA have a much harder time getting through without the. Do you know how we get them. Back I mean I understand that in public health both science but also the political science And you've been fighting for these for agencies like this to to get their due in terms of resources and respect in the bureaucratic world that is federal government. Is there somebody who could fix this? Could Congress fix this through better oversight? Could Public Pressure Fix this. How do you imagine this getting right? We really need them back. So the good news is all of the great people of a CDC. Most of them are still there right. They have hung on And so when I look at. Who's still hanging in the top scientists? They're still there so we don't have to like bring them back. That's the goods of the bad news. Is that they've been muzzled and they are not getting to do. They know how to do well and we have to find a way to on Muslim. We have to find a way to let them do their job. And I don't know who does Congress. I think public pressure. All of those things would help. Ultimately I think Dr Redfield who was the was the appointed head of the I think that's a look himself in the mirror and ask. Is this the public health agency? He wants to lead in the greatest pandemic in a century. And if he can't do it he should step aside and make sure that somebody else can leave that agency and help. The American people get through this period Dr Shave Gel Director of the Harvard Global Health Super Helpful to have year tonight. Dr Thank you for your time Rachel. All right we've got more ahead here tonight. Stay with nineteen. Twenty eight was a rough year to work on Capitol Hill. Three congressman collapsed in a single month and one died in his office. They weren't all collapsing and dying from the same thing. But for whatever reason in one thousand nine thousand eight they were just not a hale and hearty lot that year nevertheless when one member of Congress died in his office it took two hours for a doctor to show up to the scene. That's because there was no doctor who actually worked in the house or the Senate To make sure that never happened again. The office of the attending physician was created at the Capitol. Its mission is to oversee the well being of both representatives and senators senators on Monday the. Us Senate is due back in session in person on the orders of the seventy eight year. Old Republican leader in the Senate Mitch. Mcconnell senators will be forced to make their way back to Washington D. C. In person despite the fact that yesterday was the single deadliest day yet in the epidemic in Washington. Dc and despite the fact that nearly half of all senators are age sixty five or older. Six of them are age eighty or older seven. If you count Lamar Alexander. Who's about to turn eighty very soon? I mean per the CDC that means they're at higher risk right. They have the Senate and now the attending physician whose only job is to oversee be wellbeing of Representatives and senators the attending physician is now sounding a foghorn about this plan to bring all the senators back on Monday. Warning that quote corona virus tests will be available for staffers and senators. Who are ill but there are not enough to proactively test. All One hundred senators. And even if a senator can get a test it will take days to get the results. Nevertheless they're all coming back to work together late this afternoon. The attending physician gave senators a list of things they should before Monday. Like installing sneeze guards and rearranging their office furniture. So people don't sit close together reengineering airflow so the virus doesn't spread that way. No rush right plenty of time to get that stuff done this weekend. So high risk in kind of high importance group is about to board planes and trains back to a city. That's blinking red with corona virus. And when they got there there aren't enough tests to figure out. Who has it before they all get together? Seems like an excellent plan. Watch this space one quick last thing before we go tonight. If you by any chance have some information that you could share about the politicization or artificial weakening of scientific investigations of meat. Plant Coruna virus outbreaks. Or if you have some information to share about a nursing home in your area or if your community is doing something to help or support first responders or health care providers and it's something that you think maybe everybody should do or at least we should all know about it. I want to know about that. I want you to tell me if there's ever anything you think that we should know here on this show. Please tell us about it go to www dot. Send it to Rachel Dot Com. 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