Bill Gates: CDC being 'written out of the picture' on coronavirus

Bill Gates: CDC being 'written out of the picture' on coronavirus
© getty: Bill Gates

Bill Gates says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “being written out of the picture” of the federal coronavirus response. 

Gates was asked in a Bloomberg Television interview published Tuesday whether he trusted the federal agency amid the pandemic.

“The CDC is largely being written out of the picture,” he said, “because you have people at the White House who aren’t epidemiologists saying what a great job they’ve done, and so it’s no longer a set of experts.”

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The billionaire philanthropist acknowledged that the CDC made mistakes early on during the pandemic, specifically in testing and organizing commercial providers.

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis opened an investigation Monday into the Trump administration’s alleged political interference at the CDC. 

The lawmakers cited reporting that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have made efforts to downplay or reword CDC reports to match President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE’s rhetoric on the pandemic. 

In the Tuesday interview, Gates also said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lost “credibility” due to political influence on its messaging.

“We saw with the completely bungled plasma statements that when you start pressuring people to say optimistic things, they go completely off the rails,” he said.

“The FDA lost a lot of credibility there,” he added, though he added "there's a lot of professionals" at the agency.

“Historically, just like the CDC was viewed as the best in the world, the FDA had that same reputation as a top-notch regulator,” he continued. “But there’s been some cracks with some of the things they’ve said at the commissioner level. Hopefully the staff isn’t pulled in that direction.”