THE NEUTRAL ZONE
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention retracted guidance on Monday that indicated COVID-19 could spread through aerosol droplets. Posted last Friday, the update went unnoticed until CNN published the findings Sunday night.
The CDC stated that the guidelines had been a part of a current draft that was posted in error. The original guidelines shared on the CDC’s “How COVID-19 Spreads” page included that “respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes,” were among the most common forms of transmission.
The reversal accelerated suspicions among Democrats who question the credibility and ethical nature of the CDC. In a statement on the House website, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the CDC was likely concerned about contradicting President Trump.
The guidelines raised alarms for school districts and public health advisors who would have to quickly reassess current systems in place that allow children to attend school and patrons to eat at restaurants. As the CDC moves forward with updated guidelines, it’s likely the agency will have to fight to have bipartisan support as well as win back credibility. A survey conducted in early September showed that 68 percent of citizens registered as independents stated that the federal government was making the pandemic worse. Seventy-four percent of Republicans say the federal government is making things better, while 80 percent of Democrats say it is making things worse.
‘This is deeply concerning,’ ex-FDA chief Gottlieb says of CDC coronavirus guidance errors – CNBC – 9/22/2020
Erroneous and reversed coronavirus guidance from the nation’s top health agency amid reports of tampering from Trump administration officials is “deeply concerning” and could “ruin the credibility” of the agency, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Tuesday. “It’s really hard to believe that this was an accidental posting of draft guidance that they had to subsequently pull down 48 hours later that they didn’t realize they had put it up over the course of the weekend,” said Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration chief in the Trump administration.
WHO says no change to COVID-19 transmission guidance after U.S. draft change – Reuters – 9/21/2020
The World Health Organization has not changed its policy on aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, it said on Monday after U.S. health officials published draft new guidance by mistake warning that it can spread through airborne particles. Mike Ryan, executive director of the UN agency’s emergencies programme, said he would follow up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the next 24 hours after it said COVID-19 could spread through airborne particles that can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond six feet.
How The CDC’s Reversals Just Continue Confusion – The New York Times – 9/22/20202
When it comes to the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can’t seem to agree with itself. The agency — where Trump administration appointees are intermixed with career scientists — posted virus guidance on its website late last week stating that the “main way the virus spreads” was through air droplets from people’s mouths. But yesterday, the C.D.C. quietly removed that language from the site.
CDC deletes coronavirus airborne transmission guidance, says update was ‘draft version’ – Fox News – 9/21/2020
“Much of the public has been unwilling to adjust their behavior, so I don’t think this will have a great impact on our citizens who aren’t already being vigilant,” Dr. Matt Lambert, chief medical information officer for HCI Group, had told Fox News. “For policymakers who chose to account for scientific guidelines, this report will make it challenging to continue to expand indoor activities, such as dining and concerts, through the fall and winter months.”