CDC Retracts Guidance On Coronavirus Transmission, Raising Concerns Over Political Motivation; WHO Policy On Aerosol Transmission Not Changed, Agency Notes

The Hill: CDC causes new storm by pulling coronavirus guidance
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday retracted new guidance on how the coronavirus spreads, raising questions about whether the guidelines were removed for political reasons. The CDC on Friday published guidance indicating that the novel coronavirus could spread through aerosol droplets, acknowledging that the virus could transmit beyond six feet and suggesting that proper indoor ventilation is a key way to slow the spread of the virus. … The update was not publicly announced, but it was first noticed by CNN on Sunday. By Monday morning, the agency had removed the language on airborne spread from its website and reverted to the previous guidance…” (Weixel, 9/21).

Reuters: WHO says no change to COVID-19 transmission guidance after U.S. draft change
“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…” (Nebehay et al., 9/21).

Washington Post: No matter what the CDC says, here’s why many scientists think the coronavirus is airborne
“…Sudden flip-flops on public guidance is antithetical to the CDC’s own rules for crisis management. After disastrous communications during the 2001 anthrax attacks — when white powder in envelopes sparked widespread panic — the agency created a 450-page manual outlining how U.S. leaders should talk to the public during crises. Protecting vulnerable people from a virus that is infecting millions depends on U.S. leaders issuing clear public-health instructions and the public’s trust to follow directions that could save their lives…” (Guarino et al., 9/21).

Additional coverage of the CDC’s reversal is available from CNBC, TIME, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

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