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Jason Dearen, Garance Burke, Associated Press, Oct. 3, 2020
"Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the nation’s top disease control agency to use its emergency powers to effectively seal the U.S. borders, overruling the agency’s scientists who said there was no evidence the action would slow the coronavirus, according to two former health officials. The action has so far caused nearly 150,000 children and adults to be expelled from the country. The top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doctor who oversees these types of orders had refused to comply with a Trump administration directive saying there was no valid public health reason to issue it, according to three people with direct knowledge of the doctor’s refusal. ... “They forced us,” said a former health official involved in the process. “It is either do it or get fired.” ... “I don’t know how you could look another CDC scientist in the eye after doing this,” Dr. Josh Sharfstein, a former FDA deputy commissioner and a Johns Hopkins professor, said of Redfield. “It’s undermining the purpose of having an agency that uses evidence to protect public health. “It’s a profound dereliction of duty for a CDC director.”