Misleading reports on COVID to continue
As an occupational safety, health and environmental professional for more than 40 years, I and my counterparts rely on experts within the fields of everything from machine guarding to infectious disease. Groups such as the National Safety Council, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and many other “nonenforcement” or “nonpartisan” organizations do the research and development to establish guidance in risk reduction.
As environmental, health and safety professionals, we take that information, all the gathered and analyzed statistics, and decide how we are going to guide our clients (employers) in implementation of the recommendation put out by the aforementioned experts.
Since I began my career in occupational safety, health and environmental guidance, one of those groups, organizations that I and my counterparts have relied on for expert guidance is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known to many simply as the CDC. The CDC would gather facts and statistics associated with reported injuries, illnesses and disease and other health concerns affecting our nation, both in the workplace and within society itself. The CDC has been the cornerstone for many of the established and adopted injury, illness risk-reduction procedures; many have been adopted by both local and national enforcement agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These developed procedures when adhered to have shown a huge decrease in workplace injury and illnesses.
When I heard and read that the current administration is eliminating the CDC from collecting and assessing COVID-19 virus data and putting it solely in the hands of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , of which the CDC is an arm, my first thought was, as many others have, what better control as to what information you want to share with the public.
The administration now has complete control of what information is shared and how such information is going to be reported. It is my fear, along with many in my and other safety and health fields, that stripping the CDC of it collective powers, collective research and transmitted guidance is simply going to cloud the COVID-19 virus issue more than the current administration has clouded it via its contradiction, misleading information it puts out through tweets and appearance.
God help the USA.
JOHN P. LESEGANICH, CPEA