February 27, 2020
If President Trump has attempted to pressure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stifle information about the spread of the coronavirus in order to boost the stock market, the public needs to know. Earlier this week, Trump lashed out on Twitter at the CDC for raising awareness about the spread of coronavirus after the stock market started to fall, and he has reportedly tried to tamp down warnings that he blames for the stock market slide.
CREW is requesting CDC communications that might indicate the administration is interfering or attempting to interfere in the release of coronavirus information. The public deserves to know if Trump is prioritizing the stock market over accurate information about a disease that is approaching a global pandemic, of which there are at least 60 confirmed cases with no deaths in the US as of February 27. CREW also requested any CDC threat assessments of coronavirus.
On February 26, Trump also appointed Vice President Michael Pence to head efforts around the coronavirus, shifting ultimate responsibility for the response and communication about the epidemic away from health officials. Any attempt by Trump to withhold or manipulate essential public health information to insulate the stock market, which he views as an indication of his political success, would be grossly self serving and potentially deadly.