The CDC is confusing everybody with its coronavirus aerosols statements and deletions

coronavirus aerosols COVID-19
Photo via Raed Mansour/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

For the past several months, a number of scientists and experts believed coronavirus could be spread by aerosols, along with the larger respiratory droplets that are emitted from somebody’s mouth when they talk, cough, sneeze, or sing. On Sept. 18, the CDC appeared to agree with that, posting on its website that coronavirus aerosols played a significant role in spreading the virus.

Only three days later, the CDC deleted that notice and said it was a website error that allowed that info to go live, according to the Washington Post.

As noted by the newspaper, CNN noticed on Sept. 20, two days after the original change was made, that the CDC had declared that aerosols—smaller airborne particles that can remain in the air for longer than respiratory droplets and can spread farther than six feet in the air— were “thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond six feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the CDC wrote. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”

But that abruptly changed on Sept. 21 when a CDC spokesperson said the aerosols transmission “does not reflect our current state of knowledge.” The CDC said the initial edit to the website was actually an unreviewed draft.

More than 200 scientists wrote to the World Health Organization in July and pleaded with it to acknowledge the dangers that aerosols play in COVID-19 transmission. The letter stated: “The current guidance from numerous international and national bodies focuses on hand washing, maintaining social distancing, and droplet precautions … Most public health organizations, including the World Health Organization, do not recognize airborne transmission except for aerosol-generating procedures performed in healthcare settings. Hand washing and social distancing are appropriate, but in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people.”

After the CDC’s brief recognition of that point, one of the lead writers of that letter told CNN, “I’m very encouraged to see that the CDC is paying attention and moving with the science. The evidence is accumulating.”

Unfortunately for the CDC, the flip-flop on aerosols transmission won’t help the narrative put forth by Bill Gates that neither the FDA nor the CDC is particularly trustworthy at the moment, thanks in part to President Trump’s apparent pressure on both institutions to kowtow to his political needs.

Sources: Washington Post, CNN, Forbes

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