Leaders at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were blindsided this week when President Donald Trump announced that the agency could deploy teams to assist schools with safely reopening in the fall, a senior CDC official told CNN, the latest example of a breakdown in communication between the agency and the White House.
My administration also stands ready to deploy CDC teams to support schools that are opening and schools that need help in safety and in order to safely reopen," President Trump said on Tuesday during a briefing.
The announcement left CDC officials scrambling this week to train staff to be able to deploy if they are called upon, the senior official said.
The surprise statement by Trump was reminiscent of early on in the pandemic when the CDC Task Force regularly learned about assignments during presidential briefings, finding out in real time along with the public, a senior official said.
The CDC official said the agency is expected to come up with a vaccine plan for schools in at least four states by October, even though there is no realistic expectation that a vaccine would be ready by then.