A whistleblower exposed several “vulnerabilities” within the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) COVID-19 response in New York City and in Atlanta, Georgia, according to Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner, who forwarded the findings of an investigation into the agency to President Joe Biden last week.
In his letter to Biden, Kerner said that findings from a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) investigation, which substantiated a whistleblower’s claims about the CDC’s mishandling in both New York City and Atlanta in February and March 2020, were “reasonable.”
The report detailed many allegations, including that public health workers were not properly trained when they assisted with the COVID-19 response at JFK Airport, in New York City, in the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak. Another allegation, that necessary personal protective equipment was not used in order “to minimize public alarm,” was substantiated, as was an allegation that CDC workers did not check health workers for COVID-19 symptoms.
They also allowed health workers to expose people to the virus while using public transportation.
The CDC did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
“I want to commend the whistleblower for bringing these allegations to [the Office of Special Counsel] and acknowledging the significance of this matter,” Kerner wrote, “Because of the whistleblower’s courage and willingness to shed light on these issues, the agency has significantly improved the health and safety of HHS personnel.”
Kerner noted that the mistakes made by the CDC primarily took place at the beginning of the pandemic, but also added that the findings of the report, which confirmed many of the whistleblowers’ claims, “appear reasonable.”
The whistleblower, who decided to remain anonymous, did not provide any comments on the report.
According to the HHS report, vulnerabilities “existed in the health and safety protocols instituted and overseen by CDC officials” during the scope of the investigation which ran from January to March 2020.
One of the many problems discussed in the report was that health workers “were not given proper training” at an emergency health center in Atlanta.
It also suggested that the “desire to minimize public alarm” may have been a factor in some of the agency’s downplaying of using necessary personal protective equipment during the early stages of the pandemic response.
The HHS report adds to other evidence implicating the CDC for poor management during the beginning stages of the pandemic.
In May of 2020, the CDC admitted that it had combined results for viral and antibody Covid tests.
“CDC is working to differentiate those tests from the viral tests and will report this information, differentiated by test type, publicly on our COVID Data Tracker website in the coming weeks,” a CDC spokesperson said at the time.
The agency also admitted to issues with COVID-19 tests, which were infamously slow to roll out.
“The Washington Post separately confirmed that Food and Drug Administration officials concluded that the CDC violated its own laboratory standards in making the kits,” the Post reported, “The substandard practices exposed the kits to contamination.”
In June, The New York Times wrote an article asking, “Covid Proved the C.D.C. is Broken. Can It Be Fixed?” It mentioned that the agency appeared to be plagued with “pathological clumsiness.”
Kerner’s letter to Biden noted that the situation had been closed as the CDC had addressed the whistleblower’s concerns. It is unclear if Biden will take any action based on the Special Counsel’s letter.