"We are used to dealing with a White House that asks for things and then chaos arises. A team of people at the CDC spent countless hours answering a question from Debbie Birx," the source said.
"The 17-page report represents a question from the White House Task Force about making these recommendations. It's our role. To put together this guide."
An employee of the workforce told CNN that Trump's policies announced in mid-April to reopen the country "made it clear that each state should open up in a safe and responsible manner based on the data and response efforts of individual states."
An administration official told CNN that the CDC management had not seen the draft document before it was leaked, and there were two concerns when it reached the working group. It was "too prescriptive" because "rural Tennessee guidance should not be the same as urban New York City guidance," and the document's recommendations did not fit the "phases" already outlined by the working group.
The working group requested that the document be returned to the CDC for revisions, which were not returned. The administration official did not know if there was a decision at the CDC level to shred the idea.
An administrative official added that the draft document was the subject of heated internal debate, but in the end members of the working group felt it was too specific and may not be helpful as nationwide guidance.
& # 39; I want to go back to where it was & # 39;
The draft document contained specific guidance for six categories: childcare programs; schools and day camps; religious communities; employers with vulnerable workers; restaurants and bars; mass transfer administrators. For each category, note the draft reopening in phases.
But the White House has been subject to intense lobbying efforts from certain sectors that were looking to influence the policy, said the senior CDC official. And Trump signaled publicly last week that he probably would not sign guidelines that recommended a return to a changed lifestyle.
"I see the new norm being what it was three months ago. I think we want to go back to where it was," Trump said at a meeting with representatives from the restaurant and hospitality industry.
"I want to get back to what it was, that's where we're going to be," Trump said.
At the White House briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany reiterated the White House's initiative to allow the country's governors to implement their own guidelines.
"This is a governor-led effort. The president has said that the governors are making the decisions to move forward, and we urge them to follow our phased approach," McEnany said.
The decision to reject the CDC's guidance is part of the ongoing friction that has been going on between the top US health agency and the White House, the agency chief said. The CDC is trying to implement its state-level recommendations through state agencies.
Part of the debate on the recommendation had to do specifically with what was recommended for businesses.
"The CDC, the White House and the White House working principles disagreed about how strong a public health response should still be in place," the official said.
The official added that the agency was told by Department of Labor officials – all part of the government process – that under the agency's proposed guidelines, some of the restrictions that had to be placed on entities such as churches and businesses were stringent, and businesses would be vulnerable legal liability if an employee retires or dies from Covid-19 at work.
"In the absence of law, there is regulation, and in the absence of regulation, there are recommendations. They believe it is too much open to be interpreted by the courts if something happens at work. It doesn't matter if (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) plays ball or not, "said the CDC source.