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Spokesman says HHS reviews coronavirus reports so 'deep state motives in the bowels of CDC' don't drive policy

Communications aides in the Health and Human Services Department have openly complained that reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on COVID-19 are undermining President Trump's optimistic pandemic messaging and, despite initial resistance from the CDC, they have increasingly been allowed to review the reports and occasionally alter them, Politico reports.

The change came after Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official, took over as the health department's spokesperson in April. In an email sent to CDC Director Robert Redfield in August that was reviewed by Politico, Caputo reportedly berated CDC scientists for using their reports to "hurt the president," while Caputo's scientific advisor Paul Alexander, an assistant professor of health research at McMaster University near Toronto, said the CDC is "writing hit pieces" on the Trump administration. He reportedly told Redfield the "outrageous" reports "must be read by someone outside of CDC" like him, so he can "tweak it to ensure it is fair and balanced and 'complete.'"

Several people in the medical community have defended the accuracy and objectivity of the CDC reports, but Caputo told Politico the reviews are necessary "to make sure that evidence, science-based data drives policy through this pandemic — not ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of CDC." Read more at Politico.