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Economist, health expert explain the CDC guidelines rejected by Trump administration

Posted at 5:12 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 19:10:19-04

The Trump administration has faced criticism for not following CDC guidelines to help states reopen and to prevent more positive cases of COVID-19.

25 News takes the politics out of the issue and looks at the decision through purely medical and economic grounds. Reports have surfaced about President Trump tossing aside specific CDC guidelines tailored to individual businesses in favor of a more general approach to opening the economy.

But no one has taken time to explain the delicate balance involved In reaching that decision.

Health experts say you can look at the CDC guidelines on reopening the economy the way you'd look at a doctor's advice and prescription for any illness.

Waco/McLennan County Public Health District Director Dr. Brenda Gray says a doctor's advice has its basis in facts from science.

"We're in an era of precision medicine which means that medicine is tailored to that individual, so I think about this in terms of a recipe and it calls for 2 eggs. Would you put no eggs in it? or 4 eggs in it? you'd put two eggs in it," she explained.

Trends have shown social distancing and masking have helped McLennan County flatten its coronavirus curve.

But at the same time, our leaders must consider the infection's dire impact on our national economy.

"We are at this point where the economic disruption itself can cost people's lives can cause them to be sick and many other things so there is a very difficult trade-off there's nothing easy about this," said Waco Economist Dr. Ray Perryman of The Perryman Group.

Those guidelines include the closing of break rooms for businesses, disposable menus for restaurants and churches holding services through video streaming.

Finding that balance could account for some of those CDC guidelines getting shelved, but economists warn, we might not be able to withstand another shutdown of the economy.

"We're not ever going to fix the economy until we get some level of control over the health crisis," advised Perryman.

Dr. Gray agrees because she says we have no economy without people.

"Absolutely both are important but human lives are most important," she said.

Neither Gray, nor Perryman want to see us slide into more illness or economic trouble. Both say much of our success will come down to what we, as individuals, do.

"Part of that role is educating yourself and then taking that education and making an informed choices to protect yourself and your family's health and the community as a whole," said Dr. Gray.

Health and economic officials encourage us to take a look at those guidelines the president shelved here: