The U.S. case count rose to 6,626,242, with the national death toll reaching 196,661 as of 19:22 Eastern Standard Time, according to the CSSE.
Since the outbreak started in the United States, the federal government has been making attempts at political meddling in scientific research and reports of public health agencies and health experts, which severely damaged the credibility of institutions including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It was also recently reported that Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has allegedly interfered in the CDC’s weekly reports on COVID-19 in the past few months.
The HHS on Wednesday announced in a statement that Caputo is taking a 60-day medical leave of absence from his post, while his scientific advisor Paul Alexander would also be leaving the department.
Alexander had previously told the press team of Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, that Fauci should not promote mask-wearing by children during an MSNBC interview, according to U.S. media reports.