The Centers for Disease Control has reversed its guidance – again – saying on its website Friday that anyone exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, even if they had no symptoms.
That’s after it emerged that the guidance published last month was not written by agency scientists, and was put out despite their objections, according to the New York Times.
That guidance stated it is not necessary to test people with no COVID-19 symptoms, even if they had been exposed to it. And even though the agency’s previous position was to test all people who’ve had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with it.
At the time, Admiral Brett Giroir assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services HHS, which oversees the CDC, said the goal was “appropriate testing” not more testing for its own sake, and that there had been no political pressure.
However, internal documents contained ‘elementary errors’, and recommendations inconsistent with the CDC’s stance, the New York Times reported, citing a senior CDC scientist.
Officials from President Donald Trump’s administration told the Times the documents were produced by the CDC with input from agency director Robert Redfield.
But reporting says the HHS rewrote and “dropped” in the guidance, flouting the agency review process.
A lack of testing at the beginning of the outbreak, and delays in test results have hampered the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.