The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a 17-page report with detailed step-by-step guidance for local leaders, business owners, educators, clergy, and others to draw on when deciding how to lift coronavirus mitigation measures. The document, "Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework," was supposed to be released last Friday, The Associated Press reported late Wednesday, but agency scientists have now been informed it "would never see the light of day," one CDC official told AP.
The White House has kept an unusually tight grip on the federal flow of COVID-19 information from government scientists and public health officials, and a person close to the White House told AP top administration officials don't want the federal government to offer detailed advice for how different businesses, churches, schools, day care centers, and other public places should reopen, calling it a "slippery slope."
The 17-page document, circulated widely inside the CDC, was stripped down from an earlier 36-page document submitted April 10. President Trump's coronavirus task force instead released a vague set of guidelines on April 16, but the detailed recommendations were held back, as "many in the White House resisted, particularly when it came to restricting parishioners from singing in choirs or sharing hymnals and offering plates, and suggesting that restaurants use digital menus and avoid salad bars," The Washington Post reported.
Trump has made it clear that he wants states to take charge, and any blame, for reopening the economy, but he also wants business to resume quickly. "You can say that restaurants can open and you need to follow social distancing guidelines," Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told AP. "But restaurants want to know, 'What does that look like?' States would like more guidance." They can still get it if they contact CDC scientists directly, officials say, but you won't find the information anywhere on the CDC website.
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