Donald Trump sucks up all of the negative media attention like a spray-tanned Kirby sucking up floating slices of cake. But it's because Trump is this dickwad shaped lightning rod of sorts that we tend to look past all of the other dickwads in his orbit. One such overlooked wad of dick is current Head of the CDC Robert Redfield, and it's just as much this guy's fault as anyone else's that we currently live in a world where shaking someone's hand could mean killing them.
You see, this isn't Redfield's first time playing a pivotal role during an epidemic. Redfield led the Pentagon's response during the HIV-AIDS crisis, and decided to isolate soldiers suspected of being sick inside of "HIV-Hotels." Those that tested positive were then dishonorably discharged. Why would someone be so coldhearted as to dishonorably discharge a person with a deadly disease? Because Redfield felt that AIDS was a moral failing of our country, rather than just a, you know, a disease.
Redfield would then later go on to push for an AIDS vaccine despite having inconclusive evidence of its effectiveness. (Hmm, doesn't this sound familiar?) That AIDS vaccine turned out to be a dud, because of course it did. Redfield was subsequently investigated for misrepresenting the effects of the vaccine and, although the army determined he had not technically done anything wrong, he developed a reputation as a guy who let his religious beliefs and his personal feelings get in the way of science.
Flash-forward to 2018 when Donald Trump appoints this man as head of the CDC and then take another flash forward to February of 2020 when the CDC insisted on developing their own coronavirus tests rather than import foreign ones. The decision proved to be disastrous as the tests were flawed, and the CDC proved slow with a solution. The C.D.C then were glacially slow to conduct "community-based-surveillance" and, according to the New York Times reporting, "had the United States been able to track its earliest movements and identify hidden hot spots, local quarantines might have confined the disease."
So congratulations, Robert Redfield. You've added yourself to the bingo card of "horrible people within the Trump administration." Hopefully, when this is all over, you'll also be on the bingo card of people who have been asked to leave.
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