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Joe Nocera

CDC Still Getting Interference. This Time From Teachers.

The politics may be different, but the conflicts with science are the same.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky got a lesson in politics.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky got a lesson in politics.

Photographer: Erin Clark-pool/Getty Images

In 1983, a scientist named Bill Foege resigned as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He did so, Michael Lewis tells us in his new book, “The Premonition,” because after CDC researchers had discovered a connection between aspirin and Reye’s syndrome  in children, the aspirin manufacturers complained to the White House. President Ronald Reagan’s administration responded by telling the CDC to “cease and desist,” according to Foege. So he quit.