CDC review finds Trump-era guidance was not based on science

Federal health officials have identified and removed guidance documents released during the Trump administration that were not grounded in science and not “primarily authored” by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff, according to an agency internal review.

The review specifically cited three reports issued by the Trump administration that had already been removed from the agency’s website: guidance on reopening schools issued in July, guidelines on “reopening America” issued in April, and guidance on COVID-19 testing issued in August.

The review was conducted by the CDC’s principal deputy director, Anne Schuchat, at the request of the agency’s director, Rochelle Walensky, as part of a pledge to restore the public’s trust in the CDC.

In a memo to Walensky summarizing the findings, Schuchat said the review will “ensure that all of CDC’s existing guidance related to COVID-19 is evidence-based and free of politics.”

The review found that some guidance “was not primarily authored by CDC staff,” that some used language that was not as strong as it could have been and that some needed to be updated based on new evidence.