The members expressed their anger in a letter in which they also called for the CDC to play a bigger role in battling the pandemic, which has so far killed more than 218,000 people in the United States.
“The absence of national leadership on Covid-19 is unprecedented and dangerous,” read the letter signed by current and former disease investigators for the agency’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.
“CDC should be at the forefront of a successful response to this global public health emergency.”
Two former CDC directors, Jeffrey Koplan, who led the CDC under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and Tom Frieden, who served under Barack Obama, also signed the letter.
In the letter, published in the Epidemiology Monitor newsletter, they also expressed concern “about the ominous politicization and silencing of the nation’s health protection agency” during the pandemic.
The White House has been under criticism for interfering in the CDC’s role, with the Trump administration accused of editing official health guidance and altering language written by scientists.
“CDC has today, as it has every day during its 74-year history, provided the best available information and recommendations to the American public,” the agency said in response. “Since January, more than 5,200 CDC personnel have dedicated themselves to protecting the health of the American people.”