Cuomo blasts CDC on new directive on testing as ‘failed policy of denial’

Coronavirus testing
A drive-thru COVID-19 test. (REUTERS/Courtney Pedroza)

A new directive from the Centers for Disease Control did not sit right with Governor Andrew Cuomo who claimed Wednesday that it was nothing but an attempt by the Trump administration to hide the real COVID-19 numbers.

The CDC on Monday reversed an earlier guidance that if an individual comes into contact with another who is positive for COVID-19, they must be tested. Now, they recommend that the person in question should only seek testing if they display symptoms.

It has long been determined by health experts that the virus can still be spread whether or not symptoms are apparent.

“I’ve spoken to health experts from around the globe. None of them will say that this makes any sense from a health point of view. The only plausible rationale is they want fewer people taking tests because, as the President has said, if we don’t take tests you won’t know that people are COVID-positive and the number of COVID-positive people will come down,” Cuomo said. “And this from the same CDC that already disgraced itself when they said there’s no such thing as asymptomatic spread and then totally reversed themselves. This is the same CDC that said the transmission is when a person who is symptomatic coughs or sneezes. And then did a full 180.”

The CDC additionally made other follies in the pandemic when early on they told the public that masks are not necessary for uninfected individuals as well as not backing the concept that people traveling from hotspots should quarantine.

The consistency of the CDC’s new directive on testing matches with President Donald Trump’s long-held policy of not investing federal resources to testing, claiming that more positive results are a superficial indicator. Cuomo has been in disagreement for much of the pandemic having implemented state resources to identifying who is getting sick where.

The city has attempted to launch its own test and trace program since testing became more widely available and both administrations are using information gained from tests to isolate the cases they do find.

“Regarding the CDC situation, this is indefensible from a public health point of view and I have to say it makes absolutely no sense and I’ve spoken to the scientists at the CDC and they say it’s political,” Howard Zucker, the state Commissioner of Health, said.

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