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Member of Mike Pence’s staff tests positive for coronavirus

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A senior official with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN on Friday, ”Trump’s concern is with the economy and that is very clear.”

First, some background: CDC and White House officials have told CNN the White House rejected a 17-page draft of CDC recommendations about reopening the country. During CNN’s coronavirus town hall on Thursday night, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, denied reports that guidelines from the CDC had been deliberately held back.

“We’re still in editing,” Birx said Thursday night. “I just got my edits back from the CDC late yesterday. I’m working on it as soon as I get off of this discussion.”

“We are in constant work with the CDC and really value their partnership and, as you know, they put up guidelines,” she added.

Here’s how the CDC official reacted: Responding Friday to Birx’s comments, a senior official with the CDC tells CNN the focus for the agency right now is to “give everything state and local agencies need to protect people,” adding that the CDC has “already been sharing the basic public health principles [from the draft] to protect people and keep them safe.”

“Our job is to support state and locals,” the senior official told CNN.

“Our framework guidance for mitigation is, you match the public health response based on the level of disease. That’s been our original framework. That’s what our draft made clear,” the official added.

Currently, there is talk at the CDC of taking the decision trees in the document and “putting that guidance on our web site,” the CDC official said. Decision trees are “roadmaps,” the official said, for state and local agencies to know what public health approach to implement based on the level of spread.

 ”The real sticking point has been that states aren’t paying attention to the phasing, regardless of the numbers of cases. Look at Georgia, they did not meet any of the criteria. We understand states want to open up, but you still,” the CDC official said.

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