Hundreds of organizations, including the Child Welfare League of America, sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar calling on him to protect the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in its role and mission. The CDC has been under criticism from the President in any number of instances with the latest being his directive for the CDC to redesign its health and pandemic guidance to schools across the country in regard to the reopening efforts.

The letter states:

“We are deeply concerned about increasing reports of resistance to evidence-based public health messages and threats to public health leaders and agencies. Such actions undermine the efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of America’s residents at a critical juncture when cases of COVID-19 are rising…The United States spends an estimated $3.6 trillion annually on health, but less than three percent of that spending is directed toward public health and prevention.”   

On several occasions, the CDC has walked back or delayed guidance, especially regarding steps that should be taken to reopen businesses or other public access entities safely. The letter was signed by more than 350 organizations from the national, state, and local level. The letter acknowledges some missteps by the CDC and others during this pandemic but concludes with:

 “CDC continues to be the world’s premiere public health institution and should be treated as such during this pandemic. It is a scientific organization that functions best as an apolitical agency trusted to guide the strategy of our nation to be healthier and safer. We must amplify the unfettered voice of CDC, not stifle it.”