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Confidence in Atlanta-based CDC erodes with questions of political interference

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Confidence in Atlanta-based CDC erodes with questions of political interference

Jack Barile had been waiting much of the summer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to publish his research on the most effective way to persuade people to wear masks in a pandemic.

A psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, Barile said the study he’d co-authored — which found that people are more likely to wear masks if leaders promote a “positive attitude” about them — was stuck in the federal review process.

The agency and the White House, it seemed, were “slow-walking critical research without clear explanation,” Barile said.

Then, just days before the study by Barile and his co-authors was finally scheduled to publish, Barile was walking to the park scrolling through the latest headlines on his phone when a photo of President Donald Trump filled his screen:

Marching down a hallway at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump, who had refused to wear a mask in public, was seen donning one for the first time.

At the time, Trump had been under increasing pressure to wear one, including from members of his own party.

But it wasn’t until that July 11 hospital visit, three months after the White House recommended widespread mask-wearing, that […]

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