Two of America’s top health agencies are reportedly hemorrhaging staff as decisions described as ‘bad science’ has led to bad morale within their ranks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are both suffering because of poor decision making by leadership – leaving both agencies short-staffed, reports Dr Marty Makary, a top public health expert at Johns Hopkins University in Common Sense.
Major decisions made by the agencies that hurt morale included support for masking in schools, school closures during the pandemic and the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged four and under.
Both agencies, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been mired in controversy throughout the pandemic for inconsistent messaging and for decision making that did not seen to line up with available science.
The CDC and NIH are reportedly facing staffing issues after low morale and poor decision making from leadership led to many leaving the agencies, Common Sense reports
‘They have no leadership right now. Suddenly there’s an enormous number of jobs opening up at the highest level positions,’ an anonymous NIH scientist told the Substack publication that is run by former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.
Schools became the first real battleground of the COVID-19 pandemic in America.
When the virus stormed the world in early 2020, many officials immediately shut things down – whether it be schools, retail stores, entertainment venues, restaurants – out of an fear of the unknown.
Initial data showed that children suffered limited risk when they contracted the virus, though, and that it was actually mainly the elderly and severely immunocompromised that bore the virus’s burden.
Dr Marty Makary (pictured), a public health expert from Johns Hopkins University, is a critic of both school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and in vaccines for children aged four and younger
Despite the evidence, the CDC still recommended schools stay closed until the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
While individual school districts were allowed to make decisions for themselves – and many Republican leaning counties did quickly reopen schools – many major metropolitan areas under Democratic control kept schools closed for extended periods of time.
Earlier this year, Makary told DailyMail.com that the decision to keep schools closed was one of the worst made in the pandemic, specifically citing that minority communities that disproportionately lived in these areas were set the furthest behind academically.
‘CDC failed to balance the risks of Covid with other risks that come from closing schools,’ an anonymous CDC scientist told Common Sense.
‘Learning loss, mental health exacerbations were obvious early on and those worsened as the guidance insisted on keeping schools virtual. CDC guidance worsened racial equity for generations to come. It failed this generation of children.’
When schools did reopen, many required children to remain masked at all times outside of lunch periods, following guidance from the CDC.
Makary warns that this may have harmed their social and emotional development as they could not properly read the emotions of covered faces.
The decision that seemed to raise the most commotion was the authorization of COVID-19 jabs for children aged six months to five years old.
Officials at the FDA and CDC authorized COVID-19 vaccines for children aged six months to five years old despite little evidence that the shots were effective in the age groups, according to Makary. Pictured: A young girl in New York City receives a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine on June 21
Makary criticizes the data submitted by Pfizer and Moderna to receive the green-light, saying it was lacking.
Pfizer’s trial included under 1,000 children and did not show any efficacy against infection, he reports.
Moderna reported just a four percent reduction in infection in their trial of around 6,000 children.
‘A more honest announcement would have been: ‘We approved the vax for babies &toddlers based on very little data. While we believe its safe in this population, the study sample size was too low to make a [conclusion] about safety. Note that studies were done in kids w/o natural immunity,” Makary told DailyMail.com about the decision in June.
‘It seems criminal that we put out the recommendation to give mRNA Covid vaccines to babies without good data. We really don’t know what the risks are yet. So why push it so hard?’ a CDC physician told Common Sense.
Another CDC scientist said that the vaccine rollout has made them feel like a ‘political tool’.
‘The public has no idea how bad this data really is. It would not pass muster for any other authorization,’ said an FDA official.
Amid the many controversies the agency was facing at the time, the CDC announced in April that it would reevaluate its structure and processes in the hopes of developing better processes to communicate with Americans.
It is unclear what changes, if any, were made as a result of the evaluation.