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"Colossal Failure"

A former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called on the current director, Robert Redfield, to confront and address the agency's shortcomings in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Today reports.

According to USA Today, William Foege, a highly respected epidemiologist who directed the CDC under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and is known for leading the smallpox eradication effort, penned a note to Redfield in which he suggested that Redfield arrange for himself to be fired in protest of the Trump Administration's handling of the pandemic response. It adds that Foege additionally recommends Redfield write a letter acknowledging the agency's and his own failures in handling the pandemic and the Trump Administration's interference in it.

"This will go down as a colossal failure of the public health system of this country," Foege wrote, according to USA Today. "The biggest challenge in a century and we let the country down. The public health texts of the future will use this as a lesson on how not to handle an infectious disease pandemic."

Foege tells USA Today that the letter was meant to be private, but that he would like to see the CDC retake the reins of the pandemic response.