Trump Officials Pressed CDC To Exclude Asymptomatic People From Testing Guidance

Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen / Public Domain

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CDC receives pressure to change guidelines in order to narrow testing requirements for asymptomatic people.

Top officials in the Trump administration instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change its coronavirus testing guidelines this week, according to The New York Times

  • The new guidance will exclude asymptomatic people, even if they have been recently exposed to the virus.
  • The directive came from higher-ups, with involvement of the CDC’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, and President Trump’s COVID task force.
  • The guidelines say that people who have been in close contact with an individual, as in within six feet for at least fifteen minutes, “do not necessarily need a test” if they do not exhibit symptoms.
  • The agency made potential exceptions for “vulnerable” individuals.

Scientists and epidemiologists say people infected with the virus can spread it even if they show no symptoms. Test positivity rate is considered the true measure of the pandemic.

  • President Trump has implied that the U.S. should decrease testing, because the testing drives COVID case numbers up, giving the U.S. a bad name on the global stage. 
  • Case numbers remain high throughout the nation, with increases in the Midwest, Hawaii, and some U.S. territories. 

Former CDC director, Tom Frieden, spoke out against the new guidelines on Twitter:

Read the full report.

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