AP: Trump administration put Republican operatives inside CDC to oversee COVID-19 messaging

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — A new report from the Associated Press says the Trump Administration installed political operatives at the Centers for Disease Control to oversee messaging during the pandemic.

The AP says the White House installed two Republican party operatives at the CDC in June to try to manage the information the CDC released about the coronavirus.

“The Trump administration took unusual steps to control the flow of information,” said AP reporter Jason Dearen.

Dearen says it’s not clear how much either operative actually influenced what the CDC told Americans about the pandemic.

“Now, Congress is investigating this and the role of these political operatives,” Dearen said.

In the meantime, Congress also continues to work on another COVID-19 relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring what he calls a “targeted” $500 billion package to the floor next week.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says McConnell’s bill doesn’t do enough.

“[It] does nothing on taking care of people with COVID, does not guarantee their healthcare,” he said.

The bill would provide money for schools, unemployment payments and help small businesses, but it’s far less than the more than $2 trillion Democrats want and even less than the latest $1.8 trillion proposal form the Trump administration.

THAT FRUSTRATES RHODE ISLAND SENATOR SHELDON WHITEHOUSE.

“The Republican side is all fractured and arguing with itself and that makes it really hard for Democrats,” said Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy wants Democrats to do more than just reject the GOP’s proposal.

“Vote to proceed on that bill and then let’s start amending it and let’s pass something,” Sen. Kennedy said.

But McConnell’s upcoming proposal doesn’t align with Trump’s call for Congress to “go big” on a deal.

“I’d say at this point, getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult,” said U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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