On January 21, President Biden signed an executive order directing OSHA to consider issuing an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19, with a March 15 deadline. More than a month later, workers are still waiting.
The Trump administration’s attacks on the science and scientists we need to control COVID-19’s toll have been so frequent that it’s easy to become numb to them. But news of Trump administration interference with CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports is still a horrible shock.
Recently, public health experts and supporters have issued several letters to the Trump administration urging it to do a better job using evidence, data, and scientific experts to control coronavirus spread.
HHS now requires hospitals to report their COVID-19 data to a new database managed by a private company, instead of to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network. Public health leaders are alarmed at the shift, which has implications for access to data, transparency, and public trust.
Instead of addressing very reasonable concerns, President Trump and Vice President Pence doubled down on denial of just how severe the situation is, and pushed for schools to reopen regardless of conditions.
During public health crises, the use of art to convey messages of social change is not a new idea.
As we face this global threat, the U.S. is fortunate to have many skilled and dedicated healthcare, emergency response, scientific, and public health workers addressing it. However, our ability to respond appropriately is severely hampered by an administration that disregards science and scientists and appears to put political considerations above public health.