Cruz Calls on CDC Director for Coronavirus Data to Inform Policymakers, Restore Americans Trust
In response to disinformation and confusion surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, releases correspondence with CDC director to increase transparency and provide clarity
September 18, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield's responses to a letter Sen. Cruz sent in August regarding the lack of clarity and commonly accepted facts about the coronavirus and our nation's response to the pandemic.
As Sen. Cruz wrote in his letter:
"As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") helps lead the federal government's response to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 (hereinafter collectively "coronavirus"), there has been a lack of clarity on coronavirus data. This lack of clarity has fomented distrust and confusion among the American people, which international rivals have exploited to spread disinformation and reduce the effectiveness of our nation's coronavirus response. Therefore, I write to request that CDC provide information to clarify specific areas in which disinformation and confusion have occurred. It is my hope that better dissemination of the facts can improve our response and Americans' trust in the public health system."
In his letter, Sen. Cruz asked about how positive tests are counted; how lockdown orders affected Americans' ability to access medical care; how lockdowns affects incidents of drug abuse, suicide, and other diseases of despair; how effective masks are in preventing the transmission of coronavirus; and the percentage of positive cases that are asymptomatic.
Sen. Cruz also asked whether the CDC had studied if any protest rallies held since March 2020 contributed to the spread of the coronavirus and whether the coronavirus has affected and been transmitted through children.
Appearing on The Steve Deace Show Thursday to discuss his correspondence with Director Redfield and the politicization of the information available on the coronavirus, Sen. Cruz:
"There [are] a lot of questions we don't know. [...] our state of knowledge is limited, we're learning more. And I also think as individual data points get reported, there are a lot of players, in particular both partisan Democrats and the media, who take every factoid they can and they're pushing it for partisan advantage. They're pushing it to deceive."
On concerns about how testing has influenced data, Sen. Cruz highlighted an in-depth report from the New York Times, saying:
"The results of [the New York Times'] [...] examination that the tests being used in the United States are far too sensitive and that many of the positives they are coming with are people who are not sick, not going to get sick, and not contagious, but have trace amounts of the virus in their system, and making the case that we should instead focus our testing on people [who] have significant amounts of virus in the system such that they're likely to get sick and they're contagious. I think that's an incredibly important study that has been almost totally ignored in the political world because it's inconvenient and it doesn't fit the political narrative press is trying to drive right now."
Pressing for more data and clarity from the CDC to inform policymakers, business owners, and families - all of whom are facing critical decisions about how to address the virus and keep themselves and others safe - Sen. Cruz said:
"What is not reasonable, what doesn't make sense, is what we've done shutting the country down, shutting the economy down, ordering businesses to close, ordering schools to close, ordering churches to close. None of that makes sense. We need to open up. The number one priority economically in the country is reopening the economy, getting people back to work, back in schools. We are strangling our own economy and we're doing it to ourselves. Democrats are doing it because they perceive a partisan benefit."
"Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer [...] believe that if millions of people are alone and home and unemployed and broke and pissed off, they think it helps Joe Biden. [ ...] The rest of the country should not go along with it. The rest of the country should know that when we shut everything down, we are wreaking enormous damages."
Last week, Sen. Cruz introduced the Reinvigorating the Economy, Creating Opportunity for every Vocation, Employer, Retiree & Youth (RECOVERY) Act, comprehensive legislation that would help small businesses re-hire their employees and create jobs, help kids get back to school safely, allow Americans to catch-up on their retirement savings, and help find cures for COVID-19 while increasing testing.
As he works to advance legislation that will re-open the economy, Sen. Cruz will continue pressing for transparency from the CDC.