An internal review from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the agency’s guidelines during former President Donald Trump‘s administration were not grounded in actual data or science. Trump-era reports “used less direct language than available evidence supported,” “needed to be updated to reflect the latest scientific evidence” and “presented the underlying science base for guidance inconsistently,” according to a CDC spokesperson.

The review also found that in addressing COVID-19 response, the Trump CDC used three documents that were not authored by the CDC. The documents have now been removed or updated on the CDC website. A document names “The Importance of Reopening of America’s Schools this Fall,” has been removed and another named “Overview of Testing for SARS-COV-2” has been fully replaced. A final document named “Opening up America Again” has been wiped from the CDC website. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director under President Joe Biden, said in a statement Monday, “There was not a consistent practice of publicizing the supporting evidence in a scientific brief in conjunction with every major new guidance. We are now committed to providing updated science briefs if there is research to inform guidance updates.”

“I am focused on moving CDC forward with science, transparency and clarity leading the way. It is imperative for the American people to trust CDC. If they don’t, preventable illness and injury can occur – and, tragically, lives can and will be lost,” Walensky continued.

Walensky originally ordered the internal review after being appointed director of the CDC. “This agency and its critical health information cannot be vulnerable to undue influence,” Walensky noted. “And this report helps outline our path to rebuilding confidence and ensuring the information that CDC shares with the American people is based on sound science that will keep us, our loved ones, and our communities healthy and safe.”

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