By JEFFREY BROWNSTEINThe Associated PressThe Associated New York TimesNEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s executive order to suspend the U.S. government’s entire health care system was meant to protect Americans from the flu, and it failed to do so, the nation’s top public health official said Monday.
The White House on Monday released a letter from Tom Frieden, director of the U-M School of Public Health, saying the executive order will be delayed for another 60 days.
It says the delay is necessary to address a “critical vulnerability” and to improve the overall health of Americans, who are often sicker when they don’t get enough rest, antibiotics or other medical care.
The delay will help the U and its partners “address the broader health care needs of our people,” Frieden wrote.
The order was signed Monday night by Trump, who was inaugurated as the nation recovers from the pandemic.
It was also signed by former President Barack Obama and by Vice President Mike Pence, who will remain in the Oval Office until Trump leaves office.
Frieden said Monday that the order will remain suspended until the president has a “thorough review” of its impact on Americans and the public.
The White House says it has a review to come out this week.
Families and doctors have long complained that the flu is becoming more severe and the number of deaths is increasing.
Faced with mounting public health concerns, Frieden urged the president to give people more time to recover and to use more treatments to fight the pandemics.FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb says the flu vaccine is safe and effective, but that it should not be used as a “quick fix.”
“We are not talking about the flu being a simple fix,” Gottlieg said in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“It is a disease that can be treated.
It can be cured.
But it is a chronic disease.
And there are very few people who are going to be cured in this country by the flu.”
Friedon also said the flu can be easily prevented, and that the current system needs to be revamped to ensure people receive the right kind of vaccine, as well as the proper way to distribute it.
“The best way to get the flu shot is to have it delivered through your doctor, through a local hospital,” Friedan said.
Faced with the rising number of flu deaths, the CDC said this week it would suspend all testing of the flu for the first two weeks of 2018.
The CDC also said it was suspending the administration’s flu-vaccine trial program for all of next year.