Coronavirus: US health chiefs reverse advice on Covid-19 testing

CORONAVIRUS KILLS FAR MORE BLACK AND HISPANIC KIDS THAN WHITE KIDS

CORONAVIRUS KILLS FAR MORE BLACK AND HISPANIC KIDS THAN WHITE KIDS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course again Friday, now recommending that people get tested if they come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, even if they are asymptomatic. The agency now recommends testing anyone who could have caught the infection from a close contact, symptoms or not, much as it did earlier this year. That change had set off a rash of criticism from health experts who couldn't fathom why the nation's top public health agency would say such a thing amid the pandemic.

The prior recommendation stated that you "do not necessarily need a test" if asymptomatic but had close contact with an infected person.

© Pool, Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield looks on while testifying at a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on manufacturing a Coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill on July 2, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Friday's "clarification" returns the CDC's stance on testing to its previous guidance, before the August adjustment.

According to exclusive interviews with anonymous CDC officials, agency scientists did not write or agree with the guidance that excluded asymptomatic individuals from testing, The New York Times reported.

Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network to track Covid-19 vaccine
President Trump has made no secret of his hope for a vaccine to be ready to before the November 3 election. The requirements appear to be those from drug-makers Pfizer and Moderna.

Mr Brett Giroir, a top Trump administration official overseeing the testing, defended the change in a briefing last month as meant to illustrate the limitations of the virus screenings and said the new guidelines were "a CDC action". He said the August changes had been "misinterpreted" and were part of an effort to increase engagement by doctors and local health officials in the handling of potential illness clusters.

However, administration officials denied any political motive, telling Reuters that the change reflected "current evidence and best public health practices". He added that he urged officials to "slow the testing down, please".

Before Aug. 24, the CDC had encouraged testing for all those who were exposed.

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration have to be seen as reliable sources of science information as the administration gears up for a national coronavirus vaccination campaign, Besser said. That statement triggered significant backlash, including from the American Medical Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

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