Cuomo rips into CDC as Trump’s political device, says New York won’t follow new virus guidance

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks throughout a COVID-19 briefing in New York City.

David Dee Delgado | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned Wednesday the state won’t follow new federal guidance on coronavirus testing and urged others to do the identical after CDC quietly revised its suggestions to downplay the significance of testing folks with out signs for Covid-19.

“Shame on the people at the CDC,” Cuomo mentioned, calling the change “indefensible.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s beforehand really helpful testing for anybody with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even when they didn’t have signs. The earlier guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a purpose why folks with out signs who had been uncovered to the virus must be “quickly identified and tested.” Numerous research have proven that individuals who do not have signs can nonetheless carry and unfold the virus — even just a few days earlier than signs seem or in the event that they by no means develop signs. 

The new guidance, revealed Monday, says folks with out signs who had been in shut contact with an contaminated particular person for no less than 15 minutes “do not necessarily need a test.” The guidance nonetheless recommends testing for susceptible folks in the event that they’ve come inside 6 toes of somebody with a confirmed an infection for no less than 15 minutes.

“We’re not going to follow the CDC guidance. I consider it political propaganda. I would caution private companies against following the CDC guidance. I think it is wholly indefensible on its face. I think it is inherently self-contradictory. It is the exact opposite of what the CDC has been saying,” Cuomo mentioned on a convention name with reporters. “So either the CDC is schizophrenic or they are admitting error in their first position or this is just political dictations.”

Cuomo additionally criticized the CDC for failing to alert Americans to the specter of the coronavirus earlier, earlier than it arrived within the U.S. and commenced to unfold quickly in elements of the nation, together with the New York tristate area. 

“They either lied to the American people or they’re incompetent, because they didn’t track the virus in China. And they didn’t track the virus leaving China and going to Europe,” Cuomo mentioned. “The CDC either totally missed it or they were ordered not to speak about it. This just evidences, once again, political control over what’s supposed to be a public health organization.”

Cuomo went on to allege that the testing suggestions had been modified “because they don’t want publicity that there is a Covid problem.”

“Because the president’s politics are Covid isn’t the problem, we’re past Covid,” Cuomo mentioned. “It’s all about the economy, and the economy is doing great. We’re going to focus on the economy. And that’s his reelection strategy. So he’s using the CDC as a campaign rhetorical device.”

Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who leads the Trump administration’s testing effort, mentioned in a press release earlier Wednesday that the guidance was up to date “to reflect current evidence and best public health practices.”

But epidemiologists and former well being officers, together with Dr. Tom Frieden, the CDC director below President Barack Obama, additionally criticized the change. 

Representatives from the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.

Dr. Howard Zucker, New York state’s well being commissioner, known as the change “indefensible” and mentioned it “makes absolutely no sense.”

“I have spoken with the scientists at the CDC, and they say it’s political,” Zucker added.

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