Outside of the Communist Party of China, the World Health Organization and their American echo chamber, it’s clear that the coronavirus came to the United States from Wuhan, China. Those now at risk may be unaware that an American government agency was tasked to prevent such epidemics from arriving on these shores.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deploys something called the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). As Diana Robeletto Scalera of the CDC Foundation explains, the EIS “works day and night domestically and globally to ensure epidemics in other countries do not hit American soil.”
As the Healio website notes, EIS officers are active in China, where they cultivate new recruits. As current conditions make clear, EIS officers in China failed to prevent the coronavirus from arriving on American soil, but the EIS has escaped attention from the establishment media and from Congress.
Established in 1951, Scalera notes, the EIS is “a two-year postgraduate program of service and on-the-job training for health professionals interested in the practice of epidemiology.” Since the program began, more than 3,500 EIS “officers” have been trained.
According to the CDC, “EIS officers serve on the front lines of public health, protecting Americans and the global community.” When diseases and public health threats emerge, “EIS officers investigate, identify the cause, rapidly implement control measures, and collect evidence to recommend preventive actions.”
The EIS did not identify the cause of the coronavirus and any rapidly implemented control measures proved a complete failure. So coronavirus victims and the millions who have lost their jobs have a right to wonder what these intrepid disease detectives are really all about.
Other EIS officers “have taken a leadership role in foundations, nongovernmental organizations and the news media.” Perhaps that helps the EIS evade negative publicity for failure, but there’s more to it.
The Epidemic Intelligence Service does not appear in the official organizational chart of the CDC. The federal agency does not indicate who heads the EIS, what its budget might be or where its funding comes from. On the other hand, there are clues that the EIS has a political dimension.
Robin Ikeda, the CDC’s Associate Director for Policy and Strategy, began her career with the Epidemic Intelligence Service in the New York State Department of Health. That doesn’t sound like an intrepid officer on the front lines abroad preventing epidemics from arriving in America. So the EIS shapes up as a conduit from one bureaucracy to another.
EIS veteran Daniel B. Jernigan is the current director of the CDC’s Influenza Division. Dr. Jernigan “coordinated responses for dozens of disease crises,” and “greatly improving the nation’s ability to identify, prepare for and respond to inevitable flu pandemics.”
Whatever great improvements Dr. Jernigan managed to coordinate did not equip the nation to prepare for, and respond to, the current pandemic. At this writing, nearly 18,000 have died and more than 16 million have lost their jobs. The embattled workers might wonder how many at the CDC lost their jobs. A ballpark figure would be zero, regardless of performance.
The time has come to take a hard look at this $6.594 billion bureaucracy. The secretive Epidemic Intelligence Service would be a good place to start the investigation. The people have a right to know.
Lloyd Billingsley is a policy fellow at the nonprofit Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif.