‘The CDC hasn’t changed’: Biden’s top health officials try to sell new masking guidance

“The CDC hasn’t changed, and the CDC hasn’t really flip-flopped at all,” Fauci told MSNBC in an interview. “What’s happened is that when that earlier recommendation was made, we were dealing predominantly with the Alpha variant,” as opposed to the extremely transmissible Delta variant.

“The knowledge are clear,” Fauci continued, that when an individual who has been vaccinated turns into contaminated with the Delta variant in a so-called breakthrough an infection, “the level of virus in their nasopharynx is about 1,000 times higher” than an infection by way of the Alpha variant.

“It has been well-documented that — even though it’s a rare occurrence — those individuals can and have transmitted the virus to uninfected individuals,” Fauci stated. “And for that reason, the recommendations and the guidelines have been changed.”

But Fauci famous that the modified CDC guidance was not solely meant to profit unvaccinated Americans. He stated “people don’t fully appreciate” that unfettered circulation of the virus amongst unvaccinated people would give it a possibility to mutate right into a type extra harmful than the Delta variant — a new iteration of the virus that “even the vaccinated people may not be able to handle.”

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, looking for to clarify her company’s shift on masking, stated Wednesday that when vaccinated individuals skilled breakthrough infections with prior coronavirus variants, “we didn’t see the capacity of them to spread the virus to others.”

“But with the Delta variant … we have been seeing that if you happen to have one of those breakthrough infections, that you can actually now pass it to somebody else,” Walensky told CNN in an interview.

“That was the new science that prompted the guidance,” she stated, including that the new advice was “weighed heavily” by federal health officials: “I know that this is not a message America wants to hear.”

Breakthrough infections stay comparatively uncommon — roughly one or two circumstances out of each 20 vaccinated people, Walensky stated — and their damaging health results for individuals who have already gotten their pictures are comparatively gentle.

Still, “they could bring it to others,” Walensky stated. “They think they’re protected in terms of transmission. And we felt it was important that they know and understand — parents, families of immunocompromised people, families at risk of severe disease — that they should protect themselves so that they don’t bring that disease home.”

Both Walensky and Fauci additionally pushed again towards criticism of some of the controversial points of the new CDC guidance — the company’s advice that native officials encourage common masking indoors at colleges for all academics, employees, college students and guests, no matter vaccination standing.

Walenksy stated it was “really important for people to understand that this is not a benign disease in kids, compared to other diseases that our kids see.” She reported that the mortality charge for Covid-19 amongst kids over the previous 12 months was “more than twice the mortality rate that we see in influenza in a given year.”

“When you have a lot of dynamics of infection, children are going to get infected. There’s no doubt about that,” Fauci stated. “And when children get infected … some of them are going to get a serious outcome. And some of them are going to die.”

“We have about 400 deaths among children right now with Covid-19,” he added. “So we shouldn’t make the false assumption that it’s okay for kids to get infected. … We need to protect the children.”

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