By Kenneth Tiven in Washington
Facing eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities, the Trump administration has rescinded a rule announced ten days ago that would have withdrawn visas required for international students if their schools held classes entirely online because of the pandemic. The decision was announced at the start of a hearing in a federal lawsuit in Boston brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A president who believes in deflect, deny, and destroy gave up on this plan to mess with foreign students and universities rather quickly but has followed it with a new ploy, which to Trump is indistinguishable from policy. A little-noticed document posted on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, ordered hospitals to send their coronavirus patients’ information to a central database in Washington, not to the CDC. This alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gains. It comes at the same time the administration has commenced a concerted attack on the nation’s pandemic expert, Dr Anthony Fauci at the CDC.
—The writer has worked in senior positions at The Washington Post, NBC, ABC and CNN and also consults for several Indian channels
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