Appalled

Former Pence Adviser ‘Appalled’ At Pressure White House Placed On CDC To Open Schools

KEY POINTS

  • New reports said the CDC faced pressure from the White House to downplay the coronavirus’ threat toward younger people
  • Former Pence adviser Olivia Troye said this was to help President Trump’s chances of reelection
  • She said some White House staff were told to go around the CDC to find information supporting Trump’s narrative about the pandemic

A former adviser for Vice President Mike Pence said reports were accurate that the White House pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage schools to reopen and downplay the threat coronavirus posed to children.

Olivia Troye said these efforts were meant to improve President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection in the November general elections.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. has 7.16 million confirmed cases and over 205,000 reported deaths from coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, this was an effort, you know, at times where I would get blindsided, where there would be junior staffers being tasked to find different data for charts to show that the virus wasn’t as bad for certain populations, ages or demographics,” Troye told CNN on Tuesday.

“I think you’ve seen from the beginning the President’s narrative has been ‘everything’s fine. Everything’s OK. Time to get back to normal. Let’s get the economy going again.’”

Troye’s comments come nearly two weeks after she endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and said she planned to vote for him in November.

The New York Times released its report on the mounting pressure on Monday as well, describing the efforts White House staff to encourage reopening.

The Times said several members of the coronavirus task force, including Dr. Deborah Birx, and Pence’s staff routinely asked CDC officials to produce reports showing coronavirus was declining among younger populations. In some cases, Pence had his chief of staff, Marc Short, and junior staff