What could have been done differently to control COVID-19?

An expert roundtable features five former directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who weigh in on the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.
2:32 | 08/07/20

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Transcript for What could have been done differently to control COVID-19?
and check out our debt diary series. George? Okay, we turn to the coronavirus, and five former heads of the CDC discussing what could have been done differently to control the virus. Linsey Davis moderated the panel. Good morning, linsey. Hey, good morning, George. In our increasingly divided country where me more covid deaths than anywhere else in the world, we got the top five scientists to agree on one thing. I asked the question, what do you think is the single biggest factor that's led us to this moment, they said hands down the problem is leadership. It was a stunning headline just last month four former heads of the CDC argued in a "Washington post" op-ed that science has been overtaken by the public health response. The headline -- we ran the CDC. No president ever politicized the science the way trump has, with the subtitle the administration is undermining public health. How unprecedented is it to have the president of the united States regularly pushing back on the science and his own medical experts and also how dangerous is it? I can't think of any president before this. The way an emergency response should work is there's an organized decision making process. Once that decision is made, everybody gets on board it and defends it and implements it. It's absolutely detrimental to the efforts that are under This is not rocket science. We need to apply what we know. We need to feed truth back to the American public and to use those truths with our scientific evidence to control this disease. Reporter: The group agrees a vaccine will be critical to fighting the virus, but acknowledges we still have a long way to go. Given there are more than 660 products in evolution for covid right now, we should be cautiously optimistic. This pandemic is not something that's going to end abruptly. So a vaccine is by all means the single most important thing we could have to fight covid. At the same time we're still going to be dealing with covid for a long time. So it's only one part of our response. Overall, the consensus of the group was that the CDC needs a microphone and not a muzzle. Dr. Frieden equated not having the CDC front and center to trying to fight with one arm tied behind your back. He said we would be safer, more informed in we were hearing from the experts at the CDC and listening to them. George? Lead with the science. Overcast skies this Friday

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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