CDC Director Under Fire for Tuskegee Syphilis Study Tweet

    CDC Director Under Fire for Tuskegee Syphilis Study Tweet
    Photo: The New York Times

    The Facts

    • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky stirred controversy on Wednesday when she referred in a tweet to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study as a “sacrifice” from Black men.

    • The CDC held an event acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the end of the study in which 600 African American men — 399 of whom had syphilis — were deceived into participating in an experiment that observed the progression of the infection if left untreated.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    Institutional racism is on display yet again as the CDC refuses to own up to its legacy and continues to target African Americans. The US government sanctioned the murders of black men in the Tuskegee experiments and has done nothing to atone for its actions.

    Right narrative

    The CDC is once again proving that it is a nefarious organization that cannot be trusted or respected. From the Tuskegee Syphilis Study to the botched handling of COVID, it continues to act against the interests of people’s health and lacks all accountability.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    While carelessly worded, Walensky's post was a clear attempt to acknowledge the atrocity of the study, as the organization should. It undoubtedly missed the mark, but the tweet doesn't represent the CDC as a whole.

    Political split



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