The CDC’s newest coronavirus guideline adjustments have left those from both sides of the political aisle feeling bewildered and criticizing whether the agency is really following the “science” in its pronouncements anymore.
On Tuesday, CDC officials clarified earlier guidance suggesting only five days of isolation are needed after symptoms appear or someone gets a positive test for the virus, but the clarification was anything but clear.
The CDC said people could take a COVID test after five days if they “wanted” to or “had access,” and if the test came back positive they should isolate for another five days.
Liberal podcasters Pod Save America, comprised of former Obama staffers, expressed incredulity over the newest CDC guidelines and invited invited University of California San Francisco Department of Medicine chair Dr. Bob Wachter on the program to comment.
“That’s just wrong”
“The thing that really bugged me was, I think they should have just told the truth. You know, ‘We have a limited number of tests and if you can’t get a test, and you feel perfectly fine, we think the risk of you going out into civilization is quite low, you should wear a really good mask for the next five days and be super careful around vulnerable people,’” Wachter said. “That would have been OK. The message they put out was the tests don’t work very well on day five. That’s just wrong.”
Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” created a mock PSA to “explain” the new guidelines:
“If you test positive for COVID, you only have to isolate for five days, five Martian days, they’re slightly longer than Earth days, so that probably helps. If you test negative but you’re an Aries, or any other fire sign, test again, your immune system is a free spirit, so the tests have trouble detecting COVID. If you can’t find a test, get a strong-scented marker and see if you can smell it. If you can’t, you probably have COVID,” the late-night show joked.
Others who called the guidelines “confusing” included CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and MSNBC’s Joy Reid. The New York Times published a piece titled “The CDC is hoping you’ll figure COVID out on your own” that addressed the new guidelines as well as others involving masks and other restrictions.
Thor Benson who contributes to a number of publications on the left, tweeted, “I’m starting to think The Riddler runs the CDC.”
I’m starting to think The Riddler runs the CDC https://t.co/OxSf9M4EX4
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) January 5, 2022
Now the Republicans
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) tied the frequent CDC guideline changes to Twitter’s proclivity to suspend conservatives for COVID misinformation:
When will Twitter suspended the @CDCgov for all the COVID misinformation they’ve put out?
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 3, 2022
But most were not nearly as witty, such as Meghan McCain, who tweeted, “LOL, what the hell even is this?”