The Trump White House has now designated all high-level coronavirus meetings as “classified.” The decision, which further hampers the federal government’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, was implemented by the National Security Council (NSC).
The move eliminates some federal officials, “including government experts,” Reuters reports, from being able to attend those meetings. But it also makes all discussions that take place in those meetings and any documents produced in those meetings classified as well.
“We had some very critical people who did not have security clearances who could not go,” one official told Reuters. “These should not be classified meetings. It was unnecessary.”
Reuters calls the move “an unusual step that has restricted information and hampered the U.S. government’s response to the contagion.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who President Donald Trump placed in charge of the administration’s Coronavirus Task Force, last week promised Americans would receive “real-time information in a steady pace and be fully transparent.”
The CDC and FDA are currently under heavy criticism for their mishandling of the crisis that has already killed 31 people in the U.S.
Image by The White House via Flickr
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