The guidance about the testing of coronavirus or COVID-19 posted in August on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website was not written by the agency's scientists and was posted in spite of their objections, as reported by the New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter and also internal documents.
The guidance considered it unnecessary for testing people having no symptoms of the novel virus, even if they had been exposed to it. CDC's previous position recommended testing of all the people who had close contact with anyone having the disease. The reversal stunned the doctors and also politicians as they accused of political interference.
CDC's COVID-19 Guidance
Admiral Brett Giroir, who is the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the parent of CDC, at the time stated that the aim was 'appropriate testing', not more testing for its own sake, and there had not been any kind of political pressure.
The internal documents regarding the matter had 'elementary errors', like referring to 'testing for COVID-19', as opposed to conducting tests for the coronavirus, which causes the disease and recommendations inconsistent with the stance of the CDC, as reported by the New York Times citing a senior scientist of CDC.
The officials of the Donald Trump administration told the New York Times that the documents were produced by the agency and got revised with input from the CDC director Robert Redfield. But the news organization reported that the HHS rewrote and then 'dropped' the guidance into the website of CDC, flouting the review process of the agency.
"The guidelines, coordinated in conjunction with the White House coronavirus task force, received appropriate attention, consultation and input from task force experts," Redfield told Reuters. A spokeswoman for the HHS told Reuters that the guidance gives always got inputs from medical and the scientific experts on the task force. The latest version of the guidance expected to be posted on Friday did not get cleared by the CDC and was being revised by the officials of HHS, as per the report.
The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 29.9 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 942,000 people worldwide in over 170 countries. The US has reported more than 6.6 million cases, as per the latest updates.