In an abrupt reversal of their position, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) inside the USA have made changes in their technical advice regarding testing protocols for COVID-19 in a way which has taken the country by storm.
“If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual,” says the CDC website.
This contrasts with their original advice that asked all people who came into contact with anyone who was infected to get tested.
The well-known American news outlet CNN also broke the news that official sources proclaimed that the change in procedure did not come from the CDC itself but from top government officials inside the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
It could have even come from the White House, where President Donald Trump blamed the astronomical amount of COVID-19 cases in the United States on too much testing.
This comes after the USA’s statistics for novel coronavirus reach 5.8 million cases and 180,000 deaths.
“If nationally the CDC were making the argument that we have to make this decision because of limited tests, that’s one thing, but there’s no evidence or real justification provided,” says Emily Gurley, PhD, an epidemiologist with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.
The country and all its public health officials are questioning this decision to change protocol, even Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s designated COVID-19 professional.
“I was under general anaesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations,” said Dr Fauci.
This new testing advice pales in comparison to the strong efforts of Malta, who ranks third-best worldwide, and the rest of Europe who has managed to stay on top of the testing aspect of the crisis.