The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deploys the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) to protect the nation against epidemics. In the throes of a pandemic, Americans have good cause to regard the vaunted “medical CIA” as a failure.
Whatever causes and threats they identified in China, the EIS officers failed to prevent the COVID-19 virus from arriving on American soil. Embattled Americans have a right to wonder what these intrepid disease detectives are really about.
EIS alums Jonathan Mann and Michael Merson directed the global AIDS program for the World Health Organization. Lawrence Altman became the head medical writer for The New York Times, and fellow EIS officer Bruce Dan was a medical editor with ABC News and a senior editor at the influential Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Is the Chinese government leveling with you?” Fiegener wanted to know. “Are they telling you the truth?” Given the likely origin of the pandemic in Wuhan, China, it was a question of some significance.
“In terms of the Chinese government,” Messonnier responded, “there has been a WHO team on the ground in China as well in Wuhan. There are data coming out from those efforts. We have a lot of information from China.” The reporters wouldn’t get any of the information from China, but the response had been revealing.
Messonnier evidently considers the World Health Organization (WHO) the official publicity agent for the Chinese regime. Messonnier offered no judgment on the truthfulness of data from the WHO, a faithful echo chamber for China under current boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Messonnier didn’t say whether she or the CDC agreed with the WHO’s China-friendly director. Like her National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) colleague Dr. Anthony Fauci, Messonnier’s biography shows no advanced degrees in biochemistry or molecular biology, so strictly speaking, Messonnier is not a virologist.
The symbol of the EIS is a shoe sole worn through with a hole, supposedly to signify the relentless pursuit of infectious diseases. Americans currently find a gaping hole in their knowledge of what the EIS was up to in 2019 and 2020.
The people who pay the bills, and who have suffered so much, have the right to know. Congress should mount a full-scale investigation, with CDC and EIS bosses testifying under oath.
If no answers emerge, Americans could be forgiven for believing that their vaunted medical CIA is nothing more than a network of informers in the service of the CDC viewpoint. When it comes to the current pandemic, the CDC’s viewpoint seems a lot like China’s.