‘The American people have just lost patience with you’: CDC director Rochelle Walensky is grilled during heated Capitol Hill hearing and for the first time encourages parents to get their kids vaccinated
Republican lawmakers tore into Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky Tuesday over health guidelines that remain in place even as more and more Americans get vaccinated.
Collins, who was reelected to her fifth term in November, told Walensky that she ‘used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC’ but now feels it has issued ‘conflicting, confusing guidance’ that contradicts health officials.
‘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.’
Republican senators tore into CDC Director Rochelle Walensky during a hearing Tuesday on the pandemic response, claiming the agency has been inconsistant and confusing
‘I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don’t anymore,’ Maine Senator Susan Collins said
The attack by Collins, an influential senator who sometimes cooperates with Democrats, came as her state’s Democratic governor joined a zoom call with President Joe Biden to talk about vaccine distribution and the pandemic.
Op 'n punt, Maine Gov. Janet Mills joked about people in her state responded to the CDC’s initially recommended 6-foot social distancing guidance. ‘Some people asked, why so close?’ het sy geknik.
Walensky – who in March warned about a feeling of ‘impending doom’ as V.S. infections rose – spoke with optimism about vaccines approved for young people aged 12-15 – even appearing to suggest they lobby their parents for the shot.
She made the statement when asked about government approval to extend the emergency use authorization for Pfizer for children aged 12-15.
‘I recognize some parents want to see how it goes, but I am encouraging all children to be vaccinated,’ she said during the hearing. ‘And I am also encouraging children to ask for the vaccine.’
‘I have a 16-year-old and I continue he wanted to get the vaccine. He wants his life back,’ sy het gese.
Officials are eyeing young people as a cohort that can help boost the nation’s overall vaccine rates – with a substantial number of adults still saying they aren’t sure they want to get the shots.
‘The American people have just lost patience with us, with you guys,’ Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy said. ‘I would ask you to be aware of their frustrations and get a little real time into updating these things’
Republican senators repeatedly pressed Walenksy and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci at Tuesday’s hearings over continued restrictions. They called mask mandates unreasonable as more Americans get vaccinated.
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, also piled on the CDC.
He told Walensky Tuesday that the American people ‘are starting to disregard what you say is true.’
‘The American people have just lost patience with us, with you guys,’ Cassidy said. ‘I would ask you to be aware of their frustrations and get a little real time into updating these things. I am sorry to be so frustrated.’
The GOP attacks are the latest sign of ongoing political divides over mask mandates, school policies, en entstowwe. Public polling has consistently showed greater vaccine hesitancy over getting the vaccine among Republicans.
The CDC recently relaxed its guidelines over masks and other distancing, saying people who are fully vaccinated can do activities outside unmasked and even interact with unvaccinated people in the home.
It also eased up on its recommendations for outdoor activities, and coronavirus advisor Jeff Zients said on a call with governors Tuesday that renewed guidance was being considered.
The hearing was held just as the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer vaccines for children 12 en ouer.
Voorheen, no one under the age of 16 was authorized to receive any of the coronavirus vaccines.
Walensky stood behind the current CDC guidance and pointed to immunocompromised communities but got personal when talking about kids being able to attend summer camp, claiming her 16-year-old son counts down the days until camp.
‘I want our kids back in camp,’ sy het gese. ‘We now have 38,000 nuwe infeksies, gemiddeld, per dag. Last May 11th, dit was 24,000. And we sent a lot of kids home and camps were closed. The camp guidance is intended to get our kids to camp and allow them to stay there.’
CDC exaggerated outdoor Covid transmission risk by saying ‘less than 10%’ of infections happen outside when true risk is below 1%: Critics blast agency for using misleading data to keep Americans in masks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) estimate of the risk of COVID-19 transmission outdoors is misleading, public health experts warn.
When the federal health agency released new guidelines on masks for fully vaccinated people last month, director Dr Rochelle Walensky verklaar that ‘less than 10 persentasie’ van coronavirus spread was occurring outside.
Epidemiologists and infectious disease scientists tell DailyMail.com that although the figure is not incorrect, the true risk is believed to be much lower.
The number of COVID-19 cases linked to outdoor spread is below one percent, and may even be as low as 0.1 persentasie.
It comes as New York Times critic David Leonhardt criticized the agency on Tuesday using mischaracterized data – from studies at construction sites in Singapore – to tell Americans to keep their masks on outside rather than following other interventions to help drive down infection rates.
Verlede maand, the CDC said ‘less than 10%’ of all coronavirus transmission is occurring outdoors. Op die foto: Guests stop to take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, Julie 2020
Several public health experts argue that the true risk of outdoor spread is believed to be below 1%, and may even be as low as 0.1% (hierbo)
Prior to the CDC releasing its estimate last month, officials had not stated a concrete number on the risk of outdoor transmission.
Maar, volgens The Times, when the agency did settle on ‘less than 10 persentasie,’ it cited studies showing a large share of COVID-19 cases contracted outside occurred at construction sites in Singapore.
Byvoorbeeld, in one studeer from the London School of Hygiene & Tropiese medisyne, 95 cases out of 10,926 documented around the world were classified as outdoors.
Almal 95 were linked to a cluster at a building site in Singapore.
The data comes from Singapore’s Ministry of Health, but officials there don’t classify the cases as ‘outdoor transmission.’
‘We didn’t classify it according to outdoors or indoors,’ spokesman Yap Wei Qiang told The Times.
‘It could have been workplace transmission where it happens outdoors at the site, or it could also have happened indoors within the construction site.’
The Times discovered that, in many of the cases, the workers had been in close contact with each other and had either met or eaten in enclosed outdoor spaces.
Wat meer is, several locations that researchers had defined as outdoors for their academic papers were actually a mix of indoors and outdoors as outdoors, meaning many of the Singapore transmissions could have actually occurred inside.
Egter, even if all the Singapore cases were classified as outdoor transmission, that still represents fewer than one percent of the total cases.
In 'n ander studeer, in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers conducted a systematic review of the cases in Singapore and other around the world, and states they found that the proportion of global infections that occurred outdoors is below 10 persentasie.
‘In the paper, they write there is limited data but certainly less than 10 persentasie,’ Dr Aaron Richterman, an infectious disease physician at the University of Pennsylvania, aan DailyMail.com gesê.
‘You don’t want to overstate a claim in academic journals, so that’s probably where the 10 percent figure came from.
'Daardie 10 percent then got translated to the guidance, even though when you look at it, it’s much less than one percent.’
Other studies, soos een from Wuhan, Sjina, found just one of 7,324 infections was linked to outdoor transmission.
Nog een, uit Ierland, found one case of COVID-19 in every thousand traced to outdoor spread.
‘There has been an overwhelming number of studies looking at the risk factors of transmission and transmission patterns,’ Richterman said.
‘And there are really no well-documented cases of casual transmission cases like another person [transmitting the virus by] walking by another person on a street.’
Richterman said the CDC’s guidance had led to a distraction from interventions that could actually help drive down case rates.
‘That’s where you have circumstances of a person wearing a mask on the street, walk into a restaurant to meet a friend, and take off the mask to sit down for dinner,’ hy het gesê.
‘And the second event has much more of a risk for transmission.’
In The Times article, Leonhardt also argued that the CDC’s ‘exaggeration’ about the risks of outdoor transmission has led to confusion about which activities are dangerous.
‘All the while, the scientific evidence points to a conclusion that is much simpler than the CDC’s message: Masks make a huge difference indoors and rarely matter outdoors,’ hy het geskryf.