The CDC Has Been Off-Mission For Years

[see update at bottom]

There are many this morning offering stinging criticism of the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) lack of preparedness for the coronavirus. They don't even have test kits ready. Some are calling for importing Europe's test kits.
One of dozens of articles and tweets criticizing the CDC this morning
So, what has the CDC been doing? How about tornado warnings and lightning studies? This blog has been covering CDC's off-mission activities for years. Below is just one of many examples.
During the same period of time, the CDC was mishandling dangerous biological materials.
click to enlarge
I'm always surprised that people assume government agencies are competent. Some are (the National Weather Service) and some are not (the TSA). The signals that there is something wrong with the CDC have been present for years. President Trump, are you paying attention?

Update: 8:30pm, USA Today has re-published a very similar column this evening.
An excerpt:
[CDC] looks at playgrounds, smoking in subsidized housing, and the like. As The Federalist's David Harsanyi writes: "The CDC, an agency whose primary mission was to prevent malaria and then other dangerous communicable diseases, is now spending a lot of time, energy and money worrying about how much salt you put on your steaks, how close you stand to second-hand smoke and how often you do calisthenics."
These other tasks may or may not be important, but they're certainly a distraction from what's supposed to be the CDC's "one job" — protecting America from a deadly epidemic. And to the extent that the CDC's leadership has allowed itself to be distracted, it has paid less attention to the core mission.


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