The Trump administration axed a key China-based CDC health staffer last summer, several months before the coronavirus outbreak began there. China’s COVID-19 outbreak is thought to have begun as early as November, and the CDC staffer, a disease expert and medical epidemiologist, was cut in July.
Reuters reports: “[Bao-Ping] Zhu [a Chinese American who served in that role, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2011] and the other sources said the American expert, Dr. Linda Quick, was a trainer of Chinese field epidemiologists who were deployed to the epicenter of outbreaks to help track, investigate and contain diseases. As an American CDC employee, they said, Quick was in an ideal position to be the eyes and ears on the ground for the United States and other countries on the coronavirus outbreak, and might have alerted them to the growing threat weeks earlier.”
Reuters adds: “….as cases exploded, the Trump administration in February chastised China for censoring information about the outbreak and keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.”
Trump said it was likely “100 percent wrong” during a press briefing on Sunday.
Raw Story reports: “The director of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, said that the unit was ‘actually being augmented.’ He didn’t answer whether the person in the position for 30 years was let go, quit, or something else. In a statement from the CDC to Reuters, they claimed that the elimination of the adviser position had nothing to do with Washington ignoring the coronavirus and not acting sooner.”
Full story at Reuters…