CDC Director Caught Hiding Data?

Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Why the secrecy?

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky had to face questions from critics who demanded answers regarding COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S.

When asked by host Bret Baier if she knew how many of the 836,000 COVID-19 linked deaths in the U.S. were as a result of the virus and how many died with COVID-19 but had underlying comorbidities, Walensky pointed out that the CDC was “following that very carefully.”

However, the CDC director pointed to the death registry taking a few weeks to collect data and Omicron only having “been with us for a few weeks,” adding that when it was available, the data would be “forthcoming.”

The interview, peppered with Walensky’s remarks touting the benefits of vaccination for children as young as five, frustrated many critics of the Biden administration who have been calling for categorization of COVID-related deaths for a while.

In a tweet, radio host Buck Sexton voiced his dissatisfaction saying that “the CDC has managed to take the title of most inept, useless, corrupt 3 letter agency in the federal government, which is a pretty damn impressive achievement.”

Sexton’s comments were echoed by many others, many of whom wanted to know when data would be available, given that it was this data driving stringent COVID control measures and nationwide lockdowns.

In recent weeks Walensky and the CDC have faced harsh criticism for confusing guidance on COVID measures, the most recent of which includes the agency reducing quarantine time by five days. These new rules mean those with COVID only need to isolate themselves for five days, which will be followed by five days of persistent mask-wearing when around other people.

As the Omicron variant surges, the country is still dealing with a shortage in tests caused by the Biden administration’s failure to anticipate and prepare for demand. This shortage has led to mile-long lines across cities, with people desperate to know if they need to initiate the CDC’s modified ten-day quarantine.