Santa Clara Health Officer Blasts New CDC Guidelines

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody has reacted to new CDC testing guidelines, calling them “entirely bizarre” (Mercury News).

The new guidance took many in the epidemiological community by surprise. It says people exposed to COVID-19 don’t necessarily need to be tested unless they’re experiencing symptoms. That’s not true, Cody said last week.

“The truth is that if you’ve been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID, you absolutely need to get a test."

Cody isn’t the only one questioning the CDC. In a joint statement, the governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York called the guidance “reckless.” California Governor Gavin Newsom also said he disagrees and that California will not be influenced by the new guidance.

On Wednesday evening, the CDC appeared to be walking the advice back. The shift in tone followed a shocking statement by the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci who said he was undergoing surgery when the new guidance was discussed.

“I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern,” he added.

The controversy over the new CDC guidelines has underscored fears about politicization of the CDC. President Trump has made it clear that he sees increased testing as a political liability, even though experts say it is one of the keys to slowing transmission rates.