The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implored the agency's current leader to expose what he says is President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I start each day thinking about the terrible burden you bear,” William Foege, the CDC's former director, wrote to current head Robert Redfield in a Sept. 23 letter obtained by USA Today. “Don’t shy away from the fact this has been an unacceptable toll on our country ... it is a slaughter and not just a political dispute.”
Foege suggested Redfield should not fear being fired by Trump, because bringing the president's mistakes in handling the pandemic to light are in the public interest.
“When they fire you this will be a multi-week story and you can hold your head high. That will take exceptional courage on your part. I can’t tell you what to do except to revisit your religious beliefs and ask yourself what is right," Foege wrote.
Redfield has made statements publicly that contradict Trump on a number of matters related to the coronavirus pandemic including the efficacy of masks, guidelines for safely reopening businesses and schools and veracity of data tracking the spread of the disease across the country.
Late last month, Redfield was overheard on a phone call by a journalist complaining about Scott Atlas, a newly added member of the White House task force who he said is filling Trump's head with misinformation about the virus.
Trump, who tested positive for the virus last week and returned to the White House Monday after a three-day stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, has downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus. Trump took off his mask in front of television cameras before reentering the South Portico.
"Don't let it dominate your life," Trump said of the virus in a video message posted soon after his return.
Redfield and Anthony FauciAnthony FauciWatch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing Intercept reporters discuss gain-of-function research The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration MORE, the nation's leading infectious diseases doctor, have warned of a catastrophic rise in coronavirus cases if people don't continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.