The C.D.C. is where they expect to get answers. As the national clearinghouse for critical public health information, it has dual missions: to provide medical guidance to health workers while offering easy-to-understand information for political leaders, business executives and the general public.
But many say the agency has struggled at times to provide clear and timely guidance.
At Margaret Mary Community Hospital in rural Batesville, Ind., doctors and nurses got sick after following C.D.C. guidance in mid-March that masks were necessary only when treating patients with respiratory symptoms or fever. The first patients who tested positive for Covid-19 there instead showed up with headaches, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea.
“This virus made it halfway around the world without us having a heads-up to our providers that this is how the disease can present,” said Tim Putnam, the hospital’s chief executive. “Over two months after the disease surfaced, I would have expected