Trump's Virus Task Force Loosened CDC Virus Testing Guidelines While Fauci Was 'Under General Anesthesia' in the Hospital
For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned that asymptomatic carriers of the virus play a substantial role in its transmission and swift spread.
Unknowing transmission is largely the reason indoor dining and large gatherings have been significantly scaled back or canceled altogether across the nation.
So experts were alarmed when the CDC changed its testing guidance to dismiss the need for asymptomatic testing. The revised guidelines say that even asymptomatic people who may have been exposed to an infected person "do not necessarily need a test." According to the New York Times, officials high within the Trump administration urged the CDC to make these revisions.
The announcement came as Dr. Anthony Fauci recovered from vocal surgery he had last Thursday, when the meeting took place. Fauci is one of the most prominent members of President Donald Trump's virus task force, and the President has often contradicted Fauci's public statements and advisories.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that Fauci insisted he "was not part of any discussion or deliberation" of the decision, and in fact it took place while he was "under general anesthesia in the operating room."
WATCH: Dr. Sanjay Gupta says Dr. Fauci told him the new CDC guidelines were approved while he was under general anesthesia.
Gupta: "This is worrisome, this is a clear schism" pic.twitter.com/8EQO5TKSGu
— Mike Gwin (@MichaelJGwin) August 26, 2020
Fauci emphasized the threat posed by asymptomatic transmission:
"I am concerned about the interpretation of these recs & worried it will give people the incorrect assumption asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact it is."
Fauci's statement contradicts one made by White House testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir on Wednesday. Giroir assured that the decision was put through CDC protocol and that Dr. Fauci helped craft the guidance.
Today, Giroir said the #CDC #COVID19 testing guidelines change was last discussed & signed off by the White House task force members on "Thursday," Aug. 20. He insists Fauci signed off.
Fauci last Thursday was here: https://t.co/6QdlHy3KLW
— Donna Young (@DonnaYoungDC) August 26, 2020
People cried foul.
If you wait until your colleague is unconscious to push bad advice to the public... you are a truly dangerous coward. https://t.co/JgGedTYEBR
— Leah Richier (@CallMeRichier) August 26, 2020
I saw a tweet about this a few minutes ago and genuinely 100% thought it was a joke https://t.co/eyDYkHIDZH
— Chris Polansky (@ChrisKPolansky) August 26, 2020
Can't get much more slimy of a move than that. https://t.co/HC0zqwrDJO
— Mr Kampmann 👨🏻💻 (@mrkampmann) August 26, 2020
Trump has infamously complained that the reason cases in the United States outrank every other country is due to widespread testing measures. He's frequently dismissed the need for expanded testing and even claimed he told officials to "slow the testing down please."
Some considered this in reacting to the news.
Remember when Trump declared, "I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please.'"?
Well, apparently he waited until Dr. Fauci couldn't speak up to stop another sudden CDC guideline reversal. https://t.co/6WGNAhR0Zm
— Lloyd Doggett (@RepLloydDoggett) August 26, 2020
It sure looks like the Trump administration is trying to slow down Covid testing. https://t.co/CdOVqWaay1
— German Lopez (@germanrlopez) August 26, 2020
Omg they waited until Fauci was unavailable to enact tRump's directive to “slow down testing". They are trying to kill us for tRump's re-election bid. #TrumpVirus #TrumpHasNoPlan
— M. Resists (@AngryFedupVtr) August 26, 2020
trump said to slow the testing down at a rally and the right laughed it off as one of his hilarious jokes.
he was admitting to actual things he was planning on doing without Fauci even knowing https://t.co/w3fR2zqx9C
— upset spaghet 🔜 new horizons 🍃 (@BrianPotato) August 26, 2020
Governors and local leaders are not required to limit precautions to CDC guidelines, and at least one Governor has said his state will not heed guidelines to constrict testing.