Naked politics and concerns about Trump's chances of being reelected have obviously interfered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mission and regular business this year, but that was not merely a passive effect of Trump's chilling public presence on officials worried about losing their job.
According to the Associated Press, the Trump White House installed specific people with no background in public health to control messages from the CDC.
The Press reports that these people were quite literally appointed as political officers to oversee the CDC director, among other people at the agency.
The two appointees assigned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Atlanta headquarters in June have no public health background. They have instead been tasked with keeping an eye on Dr. Robert Redfield, the agency director, as well as scientists, according to a half-dozen CDC and administration officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal government affairs.
The appointments were part of a push to get more “politicals” into the CDC to help control messaging after a handful of leaks were “upsetting the apple cart,” said an administration official.
When the two appointees showed up in Atlanta, their roles were a mystery to senior CDC staff, the people said. They had not even been assigned offices. Eventually one, Nina Witkofsky, became acting chief of staff, an influential role as Redfield’s right hand. The other, her deputy Chester “Trey” Moeller, also began sitting in on scientific meetings, the sources said.
If everyone does their job by voting for Joe Biden, one of the first things his administration will undoubtedly do is purge every single political appointee from the federal government. It will be imperative for the White House to do that because these people are useless at best and malevolent at worst.
Fortunately, I expect many of them will self-deport, if you will.
I know it's too much to hope for, but anyone who worked for Trump as a political appointee should be shunned from public life for as long as their lives last. There's only so many positions available at Fox News so I expect we'll see many of them run for office as Trump-lite candidates if only because it will give them something to do.
Rebuilding public trust in government institutions like the CDC and particularly any vaccine approved by the government next year will be a monumental task that could take longer than the next administration. The next CDC director will have to manage the responsibilities of running the agency and rehabbing the agency's image from the joke it has been reduced to by Trump.