The former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said the Trump administration has “failed” in its response, or lack of one, to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“This has been a failed federal response,” Frieden told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “The US is a global laggard in our response.”
Frieden said there is a clear and proven means of communication in a health emergency.
“The first be right, be credible, be empathetic, give people practical, useful things to do,” Frieden said.
“If you think about those five things, none of them have been done, not first, not right, not credible, not empathetic and not giving people things to do,” he said.
“What that means is we didn't start wearing masks when we should have. We didn't take it seriously, we didn’t shut down soon enough in some places and other places we shut down too soon, too long.”
Frieden’s comments follow revelations in a new book by investigative journalist Bob Woodward and recordings from his interviews with Trump that show the President intentionally downplayed the deadly threat from coronavirus early in the pandemic.
Frieden said the revelations could hurt the country’s effort in getting people immunized when a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available.
“What are people going to think when people talk about the vaccine?” he asked. “We have to be able to trust or we can't control the pandemic,” he added.
“And for epidemics, those key principles of being honest and telling people what you know when you know it, that's essential, not just for talking points — that's essential for what people do to stop the spread of a deadly virus.”