The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tami Chappell | Reuters
The White House is reportedly considering a massive overhaul at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the Trump administration tries to pin blame on the agency for its bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CDC would undergo a performance review, multiple senior administration officials told Politco, which first reported the news. The audit would likely highlight several failures like the inability to deploy working tests in the early months of the pandemic.
White House staffers have discussed narrowing the CDC’s mission or adding political appointees, multiple senior administration officials said in the report.
The goal, one official said, would be to make the agency more “nimble” and “responsive,” according to Politico.
Over the last few months, President Donald Trump has been trying to deflect criticism of his response to the pandemic and could be looking for an entity beyond China to blame, the article said.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Trump’s relationship with the CDC has proved to be contentious. Trump initially dismissed cries of alarm from health officials at the CDC.
In May, Trump ignored guidance issued by the CDC on how to safely reopen businesses across the nation.
Top politicians including former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee, have been critical of Trump’s handling of the crisis.
The White House declined to comment. Neither the CDC nor the Department of Health and Human Services immediately returned a request for comment from CNBC.
The CDC has long been regarded as a top-tier health agency around the world, but the pandemic has intensified scrutiny of its operations.
The outbreak has spread to dozens of countries, with more than 9.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and over 472,541 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 2.3 million cases in the United States and at least 120,402 deaths, according to the latest tallies.
Read the full report from Politico here.