Guidance from the CDC has been convoluted and mixed up from the beginning and the craziness seems to have no end in sight. Take the great mask conundrum. U.S. health authorities had originally discouraged healthy Americans from wearing facial coverings for weeks, saying they were likely to do more harm than good. Then officials have changed their recommendations. Then masks weren’t necessary if you were vaccinated. Now the CDC is recommending masks not just for the unvaccinated but for the vaccinated as well. Supposedly the Delta variant is making end runs around the vaccine.
In May of 2020, we discovered that the CDC was combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus.
The practice made it difficult to know exactly how many people were actually sick with the virus.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Ashish Jha, the K. T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard and the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said of the practice. “How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess.”
In the early days of the pandemic, the CDC developed and deployed its own polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test to identify infections with the novel coronavirus. In July, the federal agency notified labs that it will withdraw its use at the end of 2021. This led many to speculate that the test wasn’t correctly reporting the numbers.
On Tuesday the CDC had to “adjust” its Covid-19 case tracker for Florida after the state’s health department took to Twitter to call out the incorrect data. Turn the page for details.