This doesn’t help the confusion and it’s likely to continue. Fauci wants to keep the economy open so according to the CDC the quarantine has been shortened. Some are worried that these new guidelines will let people out of isolation that can still infect. For those who have been living by the standard guidance for the past 18+ months, it may seem strange to be able to come out of quarantine early.
Flip flop Fauci
He’s suddenly being accused of following money instead of the science because the new CDC guidelines might seem to match business interests instead of health. Health experts are critical of the latest update, saying it’s being done so the economy doesn’t need to be shut down again.
The CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Fauci actually acknowledged the critics’ point. Before these new guidelines, those who tested positive for COVID needed to quarantine for 10 days. The quarantine has been shortened to just five days and masks are required, regardless of vaccination status.
CDC’s new guidance to drop isolation of positives to 5 days without a negative test is reckless
Some ppl stay infectious 3 days,Some 12
I absolutely don’t want to sit next to someone who turned Pos 5 days ago and hasnt tested Neg
Test Neg to leave isolation early is just smart
— Michael Mina (@michaelmina_lab) December 27, 2021
No negative test required
One problem is there’s no need for a negative test before leaving quarantine. The required type of mask also isn’t mentioned. Scientific evidence says that the popular cloth masks don’t stop the spread of the two latest variants.
It seems according to Walensky and Fauci that the science says that most COVID transmissions happen a day or two prior to symptoms showing up and a couple days afterward. But at least one health expert disagreed, calling the new guidance “reckless”.
.@chrislhayes pressed Fauci tonight on new CDC guidance.
HAYES: Is there any science backing up the idea that after 5 days… you’re not still shedding virus?
FAUCI: This is one of those situations… that we often say, you don't want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. pic.twitter.com/NVSqfZ8yUk
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) December 29, 2021
Fauci on the news
He spoke with a skeptical Chris Hayes of MSNBC. Hayes wondered if there wasn’t a “trade off” being done. If health care workers test positive, it would force them to quarantine and we can’t afford that.
Fauci’s response was, “Nothing is going to be 100%”. The CDC is in a “difficult situation”. He continued, “You don’t want the perfect to be the enemy of the good.” After five days, wearing a mask should be fine. Walensky agreed but also pointed out the problem of how much tolerance there would be to more restrictions. He admitted, “It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate.”
Test supplies aren’t the problem
Both Fauci and Walensky insisted it has nothing to do with test shortages. Both CNN and the New York Times spoke with an administration official who said that was indeed factored into the decision.
The official told CNN that, “If we require a test, people are going to say, ‘What if we can’t get a test?'” So the CDC thought less restrictions would be wise. The New York Times’ report agreed, “A scientist who has discussed isolation policy with the C.D.C. in recent months said that officials said the agency could not recommend rapid tests while supplies were so scarce. The scientist spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe confidential discussions.”
The restriction change has more to do with when the information was received. Both Walensky and Fauci spoke with both CNN and CBS, “The reason the CDC gives is not because there is a shortage of tests, this really had nothing to do with supply. It had everything to do with knowing what we would do with the information when we got it.”
One might wonder what factors went into the decision since it almost appears to be lies. A couple health experts weighed in on whether money was a factor instead of health. One was Yonatan Grad, an associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases through Harvard. He thought the new policy was more about economics. He spoke with the New York Times. It “feels honestly more about economics than about the science. I suspect what it will do is result in at least some people emerging from isolation more quickly, and so there’ll be more opportunities for transmission and that of course will accelerate the spread of Covid-19,”
Another health professional against Fauci
Angela Rasmussen is a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization through the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. “I don’t think reducing the time for isolation overall is a bad idea. But saying, ‘Five days is probably OK, based on Delta, so let’s give it a shot and see,’ is really not what you should be doing.”
Labor groups weren’t happy, thinking businesses would require employees to come in before their quarantine was done. Jean Ross is president of National Nurses United. She was on CNN and explained, “It’s only going to lead to more illness, more cases.”
Trust in Fauci
The problem is even those who’ve gone with all the CDC requirements are still coming down sick and testing positive. The administration has chosen to keep the economy open even when their advise still results in people catching COVID.
Leana Wen, George Washington University public health professor echoed on CNN what so many people want, the truth. “I wish they just came out and said [the real reason]. Tests actually are needed to exit isolation, but if we don’t even have enough tests right now to test symptomatic people, then we cannot possibly issue a guidance for all of America to exit isolation that way.”