Not too long ago, an ELL user posted a question on Meta Stack Exchange (MSE). Unfortunately, it was wildly off-topic as it was clearly an English language question and soon after the author chose to delete their post. However, I couldn't help but feel curious when I read the OP's post.
The extract was taken from The New York Times's article, dated February 14, 2020. The words in bold are mine:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the other hand, has instructed health care providers to use N95s, which block out much smaller particles than surgical masks do.
The user wanted to know why the verb was singular ("has") when the subject appears to be plural "The Centers", and frankly, I am a little stumped too. I would have written "have instructed" because "Centers" suggest that there is more than one.
All three reporters: Chris Buckley, Sui-Lee Wee and Amy Qin, are correspondents for the NYT, so I was wondering if this was the case of L1 (first language transfer) or an L2 back to L1. Or is it just a typo…but on The New York Times? It is renowned for being a stickler for grammar, and despite the two weeks since its publication, the "mistake" has not been fixed.
After all it seems like a typical Subject Verb Agreement error, doesn't it?