Two of America’s top public health agencies are reportedly bleeding staff as poor decisions, which staff describe as “bad science,” have led to low morale.
dr Marty Makary (pictured), a public health expert from Johns Hopkins University, has criticized both school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines for children under four
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are both understaffed, writes Dr. Marty Makary, a leading public health expert at Johns Hopkins University Common sensethe Substack publication by former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.
Key decisions by authorities that hurt morale included support for masking in schools, school closures during the pandemic and the approval of COVID-19 Vaccines for children under the age of four.
Both agencies, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been mired in controversy during the pandemic over inconsistent messaging and decisions that did not appear to be consistent with available science.
“They have no leadership at the moment. Suddenly there is an enormous number of positions in the highest positions,” an anonymous NIH scientist told Common Sense.
Schools have become a battlefield of the COVID-19 pandemic in America.
When the virus swept the world in 2020, many officials immediately closed everything — schools, retail stores, entertainment venues, restaurants, for fear of the unknown.
However, initial data showed that children were at limited risk when contracting the virus, and that it was primarily the elderly and severely immunocompromised who bore the burden of the virus.
The CDC and NIH are facing staffing issues after leadership’s poor morale and decision-making caused many to leave the agencies, Common Sense reports
Despite the evidence, the CDC continued to recommend keeping schools closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
While individual school districts were allowed to make their own decisions—and many Republican-leaning districts quickly reopened schools—many large metropolitan areas under Democratic control kept schools closed for extended periods.
Earlier this year, Makary told DailyMail.com that the decision to keep schools closed was one of the worst made during the pandemic, noting in particular that minority communities living disproportionately in those areas are academically furthest along had fallen behind.
“CDC has failed to balance the risks of COVID with other risks posed by school closures,” an anonymous CDC scientist told Common Sense.
“Learning loss, mental health deterioration were evident early on and these worsened as guidance insisted on keeping schools virtual. The CDC guidelines worsened racial justice for generations to come. It has failed this generation of children.’
When schools reopened, CDC instructions required many children to remain masked at all times outside of lunchtime.
Makary warns that this may have harmed their social and emotional development, since they couldn’t read the emotions of covered faces properly.
The decision that seemed to grab the most attention was approving COVID-19 vaccines for children ages six months to five years.
According to Makary, FDA and CDC officials approved COVID-19 vaccines for children ages six months to five years, despite little evidence that the shots were effective in the age groups. Pictured: A young girl in New York City receives a COVID-19 vaccine on June 21
Makary criticized the data provided by Pfizer and Moderna to get the green light, saying it was missing.
Pfizer’s study included fewer than 1,000 children and showed no efficacy against infections, he reports.
In their study of around 6,000 children, Moderna reported a reduction in infections of just four percent.
“A more honest announcement would have been, ‘We’ve approved the Vax for babies and toddlers based on very little data. Although we believe it is safe in this population, the study’s sample size was too small to create one [conclusion] about security. Note that studies were conducted on children with no natural immunity,” Makary told DailyMail.com of the decision in June.
“It seems criminal that we issued the recommendation to give mRNA COVID vaccines to babies without good data. We really don’t know what the risks are yet. So why push so hard?’ a CDC doctor told Common Sense.
Another CDC scientist said the vaccine’s rollout made them feel like they were a “political tool.”
“The public has no idea how bad this data really is. There would be no other approval,” said an FDA official.
Amid the many controversies facing the agency at the time, the CDC announced in April that it would be re-evaluating its structure and processes in hopes of developing better processes for communicating with Americans.
It is unclear what changes were made as a result of the assessment.