Republican senators blasted CDC Director Rochelle Walensky during a hearing on Tuesday.
A bombshell New York Times report claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exaggerated the risk of coronavirus while outdoors.
The CDC has cited the estimate to back up its recommendation that vaccinated individuals do away with masks in certain outdoor situations, but should keep wearing masks during others.
According to the Times, the 10% benchmark is based “partly on a misclassification” of some virus transmission in Singapore at various construction sites that may have actually taken place in indoor settings. Singapore also classified settings that were a mix of indoors and outdoors as outdoors, including construction building sites, the outlet reported.
Still, the number of cases reported at the various sites did not add up to as much as 10% of transmission, but was more like 1% or less, the report stated.
As the original article notes, the CDC’s embracing of the exaggerated risk level has led to confusing recommendations that many Americans ignore.
Zeynep Tufekci of the University of North Carolina, writing in The Atlantic, called those recommendations “simultaneously too timid and too complicated.”
They continue to treat outdoor transmission as a major risk. The C.D.C. says that unvaccinated people should wear masks in most outdoor settings and vaccinated people should wear them at “large public venues”; summer camps should require children to wear masks virtually “at all times.”
These recommendations would be more grounded in science if anywhere close to 10 percent of Covid transmission were occurring outdoors. But it is not. There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.
Republicans blasted another public health official this week along with Dr. Anthony Fauci. Based on this new report, Republican lawmakers pounced on Director Rochelle Walensky over health guidelines that remain in place even as more Americans get vaccinated.
‘I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don’t anymore,’ Maine Senator Susan Collins said during a Capitol Hill hearing on the pandemic response Tuesday.
…’I used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC. I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don’t anymore,’ she lectured the agency head.
She accused the agency – whose leaders repeatedly said they operate based on the science and the available data – of ‘exaggerating’ the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
‘So, here we have unnecessary barriers to reopening schools, exaggerating the risks of outdoor transmission, and unworkable restrictions on summer camps. Why does this matter?’ Collins continued. ‘It matters because it undermines public confidence in your recommendation, in the recommendations that do make sense, in the recommendations that Americans should be following.’
For those of you who follow the real numbers: There have been less than 40,000 new coronavirus cases reported in this country for the third day in a row…a level not seen since last September. The number of COVID deaths has fallen to a historic low average of 655 – the lowest average since July 6, 2020.
Finally, a value I consider a true milestone: The reproduction number across the nation has been under one for three weeks in a row. Any public health professional who values real science instead of power and politics must start calling for an end to the extreme pandemic measurements soon.DONATE
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