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Four Former CDC Directors Slam Unconscionable Attacks on Public Health Officials Like Fauci

Four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control have strongly condemned attacks on public health experts. Their criticism comes as the Trump administration takes aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan, David Satcher and Richard Besser published an op-ed in Tuesday’s Washington Post defending public health experts, though they did not mention President Donald Trump specifically.

“The CDC is home to thousands of experts who for decades have fought deadly pathogens such as HIV, Zika and Ebola,” they wrote.

“Despite the inevitable challenges of evolving science and the public’s expectation of certainty, these are the people best positioned to help our country emerge from this crisis as safely as possible.”

“Unfortunately, their sound science is being challenged with partisan potshots, sowing confusion and mistrust at a time when the American people need leadership, expertise and clarity,” they said.

“These efforts have even fueled a backlash against public health officials across the country: Public servants have been harassed, threatened and forced to resign when we need them most.”

“This is unconscionable and dangerous.”

The former CDC directors’ words are timely. This week the White House has been accused of “orchestrating a hit job” against Dr. Fauci, who has led the nation’s pandemic response.

It’s hard not to see their criticism of “partisan potshots” as an acknowledgement of the Trump administration’s attacks on Fauci and other experts.

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Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media

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