Back in June, Donald Trump said, “I said to my people, slow the testing down, please,” and it certainly looks like that’s what is about to happen if you check out the updated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines that has some doctors perplexed. Before the updated version, the CDC said that viral testing was appropriate for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if they were asymptomatic — but that’s all changed now, according to CNN.
An unnamed federal health official told CNN that the new directive is “coming from the top down.” The new guidelines would appear to slow testing down as it advises that some people without symptoms probably don’t need it — even if they’ve been in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person.
“These are exactly the people who should be tested,” Dr. Leana Wen said on CNN’s New Day, giving the example of a person exposed at work who wants a test so they can protect their family at home, adding that the new guidelines don’t make sense.
In a statement to CNN, HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir said: “This Guidance has been updated to reflect current evidence and best public health practices, and to further emphasize using CDC-approved prevention strategies to protect yourself, your family, and the most vulnerable of all ages.”
However, that doesn’t seem to be what experts are advising — which is the opposite.
And the CDC website previously said: “Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested.”
And on Monday, it changed to this: “If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one.”
The abrupt change is strange since there are now over one hundred and seventy-eight thousand deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19, and there have been 5.79 million Americans that have contracted the disease. Unless Trump just wants people to believe he has the raging pandemic under control to help his chances of reelection in November. Experts called the CDC revision confusing and “potentially dangerous.”