At the CDC in 2020, Knowledge Wasn’t Power (2)

22 March, 2023

Neil, Thank you for sharing this post.

That is one of several examples of tragic policy missteps that eventually contributed to the almost seven million deaths from the covid-19 pandemic. 

Even when eventually governments around the world woke up to what had befallen humanity, there were still flagrant misinformation especially on the treatment aspect of the COVID-19 virus disease, such as  the ‘Drinking ‘MadagascarCure” – February/ March 2020''; ' ---‘--Coronavirus Trump suggests'injection' of disinfectant to beat coronavirus and 'clean' the lungs'; 'the most commonly shared vaccine misinformation wasthat COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip to track people--'; and others.

It is clear that efforts to improve transparency and adherence to evidence driven public health need continuous advocacy to the highest levels. Hopefully, governments all over the world have learnt from the errors in the handling of covid-19 pandemic that it is in no countries overall interest to downplay scientific evidence, for presumed narrow economic or political gain! Hopefully!!

Joseph Ana

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Senior Fellow/Medical Consultant at the Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria, established by HRI Global (former HRIWA). He is a member of the World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group on Integrated Care in primary, emergency, operative, and critical care (TAG-IC2). As the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, he led the introduction of the Homegrown Quality Tool, the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance Programme, in Nigeria (2004-2008). For sustainability, he established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria. His main interest is in whole health sector and system strengthening in Lower, Low and Middle Income Countries (LLMICs). He has written six books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance programme, suitable for LLMICs, including the TOOLS for Implementation. He served as Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association’s Standing Committee on Clinical Governance (2012-2022), and he won the Nigeria Medical Association’s Award of Excellence on three consecutive occasions for the innovation. He served as Chairman, Quality & Performance, of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act 2014. He is member, National Tertiary Health Institutions Standards Committee of the Federal Ministry of Health. He is the pioneer Secretary General/Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers. ( Email: info AT and jneana AT

Prof Joseph Ana

Lead Senior Fellow/ medicalconsultant.

Center for Clinical Governance Research &

Patient Safety (ACCGR&PS) @ HRI GLOBAL

P: +234 (0) 8063600642


8 Amaku Street, State Housing, Calabar,Nigeria.

On Wednesday, 22 March 2023 at 09:51:09 GMT-4, Neil Pakenham-Walsh <> wrote:

With thanks to Global Health Now. This paints an ugly picture whereby dissemination of reliable information by the US's leading health agency was suppressed by the White House. In my view policymakers should be held more accountable for actions that threaten public health.

--At the CDC in 2020, Knowledge Wasn’t Power

“All of us knew tens of thousands were going to die, and we were helpless to stop it.” That’s how Daniel Wozniczka describes being a trainee with the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service in the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days. Texts, documents, and interviews with current and former staff reveal how the agency — under intense pressure from the Trump White House — delayed telling the public what it knew about the possibility of asymptomatic COVID transmission, the New York Times reports. Example: EIS officers were deployed to screen passengers arriving from China—who were wearing N95 masks—to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, but told not to wear masks to avoid alarming the public.

Many staffers harbor intense regret about the delays in deploying information.

“I wish I had taken my cellphone and just live streamed myself yelling at the top of my lungs,” Wozniczka said.--

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email:

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