From the centers for Disease Control and Prevention the official said, “Its coming from the top down.”
Trump administration pressured to change the federal guidelines on coronavirus testing, this week. White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was in surgery and not part of the discussion during the 20 August task force meeting updated guidelines were discussed.
Fauci said, “I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations.” He added, “I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact it is.”
CDC previously said viral testing was appropriate for people with recent or suspected exposure, even if they were asymptomatic. On Wednesday Dr. Robert Redfield CDC Director said that the changes to the testing guidelines were made after updated recommendations from the White House coronavirus task force.
Redfield said, “These updated guidelines, coordinated in conjunction with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, received appropriate attention, consultation and input from task force experts.” He added, “We are placing an emphasis on testing individuals with symptomatic illness, individuals with a significant exposure, vulnerable populations including nursing homes or long term care facilities, critical infrastructure workers, healthcare workers and first responders, or those indivuals who may be asymptomatic when prioritized by medical and public health officials.”
HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir said, “This guidelines 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. HHS has not specified what changes in current evidence may have driven the change. In a call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Giroir said the update to the CDC guidelines on testing was deliberated and approved last week.
Girgoir said in the call that the updated CDC guidelines were written by multiple authors, adding that Fauci, Dr. Deborah and Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, worked on the updated guidelines.
Girgoir said the focus was to do more appropriate testing, not less testing and said, “it can be interpreted that we are inhibiting local public health.” But the new directive also lines up with a trend in policy and rhetoric from the White House. Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested the US should do less testing.
Dr. Del Rio, an infectious disease specialist and associate dean of Emory University School of Medicine, said “I mean, the evidence that I am aware of as of today is that close to 40% of the cases of the infections are asymptomatic people transmit the infection.” He added, “So, not testing I mean if you have been in contact with somebody for a few minutes, that is okay. But if you have been in contact for 50 minutes and that people does not have a mask, I think you need to be tested regardless if you have symptoms or not. We know especially young people going into the house and then transmit inside the household. So, the guidelines baffle me and I really don’t understand them.”
Andrew Cuomo, New York Gov. accused the Trump administration of using CDC as a political tool for the campaign, he said “The only plausible rationale is they want fewer people taking tests because, as the president has said if we don’t take tests you wont know that people are Covid positive and the number of covid positive people will come down.” Adding, he told “It fosters his failed policy of denial.”