Thursday, August 05, 2021

CDC Deserves its Criticism

NY Times guest essay:
The C.D.C. Needs to Stop Confusing the Public ...

The C.D.C. faces three major problems.

The first is reality: a sustained campaign of misinformation against vaccines and other public health measures, originating mostly with right-wing commentators and politicians, and a new media environment that has upended traditional information flows.

Second, the C.D.C. is still mired in the fog of pandemic, with too little data, collected too slowly, leaving it chasing epidemic waves and trying to make sense of information from other countries. Epidemics spread exponentially, so delayed responses make problems much worse. If the response to a crisis comes after many people are already aware of it brewing, it leaves them confused and fearful if they look to the C.D.C. for guidance, and vulnerable to misinformation if they do not.

Third, the agency is simply not doing a good job at what the pamphlet advises: being first, right and credible, and avoiding mixed messaging, delays and confusion.

This is a scathing attack on the CDC.

Note however how the author has to disavow the right-wing critics. Lots of right-wing commentators have been saying for 1.5 years that the CDC is an unrealiable source of info and advice on the coronavirus. They were right. But this left-wing newspaper would rather sympathize with the CDC for having to endure right-wing criticism.

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