The Biden administration was at the end of bipartisan anger over its apparent mishandling of COVID-19 tests as both tests and patience were scarce among Americans nationwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made a habit of changing their COVID-19 guidelines, most recently reducing the recommended quarantine period for infected patients from 10 to five days. Those infected are now instructed to isolate themselves for only five days, followed by five days of wearing a mask around other people.
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So is the CDC authorized his initial estimates of the prevalence of the Omicron variant were far off the mark and seemed to provide some misleading evidence about the effectiveness of rapid antigen tests. Previously, the agency had issued a series of confusing guides on how to wear masks.
A CNN panelist commented on the mixed news from the Biden administration on Sunday.
“That’s the worst kind of problem,” said Paul Kane, Washington Post columnist, in Inside Politics. “You have a policy problem and a messaging problem.”
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Kane came to the White House because he was focusing on a vaccine-only approach first, rather than focusing on increasing the number of tests, and said, “They thought they could work their way out of this problem.”
“This administration, with all the money in the world from the bipartisan deals of 2020 and the Democrats’ one-sided $ 1.9 trillion bill in March, they had all the money in the world for testing, and they just weren’t focusing on that big mistake, “he added.
And now the message about what’s coming out of the CDC is “just as confusing as ever,” he said.
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Even former Biden advisors have urged the White House to change course in the interests of the country’s health.
The “new normal,” they declared, should “recognize that SARS-CoV-2 is just one of several circulating respiratory viruses, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and more”. the advisors wrote in the American Medical Association Journal.
One of the authors of the articles, Professor Dr. Celine Gounder, at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, commented on Meet the Press, saying the White House could have worked better with the private sector to produce faster tests.
“The White House and government could certainly have done more sooner to work with the private sector to create more stable demand through large-scale orders,” she suggested.
When asked by NBC’s Peter Alexander last week why Americans should “trust” the CDC, Director Rochelle Walensky defended the agency’s wavering guidelines, saying they would just follow science.
“My job right now is to take advantage of all of the science and information we have and provide guidelines and recommendations to the American people that are appropriate to the science at hand,” she said. “This pandemic has brought us a lot of new and updated science over the past two years and it is my job to convey that science through these recommendations, and that is exactly what we are doing.”
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Meanwhile, some social media users have found a fun side of the CDC’s confusing guidance and come up with some creative “recommendations” that the agency is likely to propose next.
“The CDC recommends putting pineapple on your pizza”, “The CDC now recommends liquor over beer, you are clear” and “The CDC recommends just going to Mordor” were just a few of the most popular examples.