Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins tore into CDC Director Rochelle Walensky for “undermining public confidence” by confusing the public on COVID-19 guidelines.
During a Tuesday morning hearing on Capitol Hill, Collins ripped into the CDC for what she claimed were anti-scientific and contradictory recommendations on school re-openings, wearing masks outside and summer camps.
“I used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC. I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don’t anymore and I want to give you three examples where I think that conflicting, confusing guidance from your agency has undermined public confidence and contradicts the scientific guidance of many experts.”
Collins began by citing the widely reported story that the CDC’s official guidance on school re-openings was influenced by America’s largest teacher’s union, the American Federation of Teachers.
“This came about because of an outside group that did a FOIA requests that revealed extensive the interactions between the AFT and the CDC. This has been described by Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor who has written extensively about the coronavirus, as ‘very very troubling’ … and she says ‘this is not how science-based guidance should work or be put together.'”
The senator followed up by citing a report from the New York Times today that found the CDC had been greatly exaggerating the threat of coronavirus transmission outdoors.
“It talks about CDC guidelines on mask-wearing and where the CDC announced that less than 10% of COVID-19 transmission was occurring outdoors. The article points out that this is ‘almost certainly misleading’ and goes on to say ‘there is not a single, documented, COVID infection anywhere in the world’ from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.”
Finally, Collins cited multiple experts who said that the CDC’s guidance on summer camps were unnecessarily draconian. (RELATED: ‘Unfair And Cruel’: One Of Fauci’s Own Scientists Reportedly Slams CDC’s Incoming Summer Camp Rules)
“A pediatric pediatric immunologist at Columbia referred to the recommendations as ‘senseless.’ The editor-in-chief of the journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics called the guidance ‘unfairly draconian.'”
Senator Collins concluded by saying that the CDC pushing anti-scientific COVID-19 guidelines undermines the common sense measures Americans should be taking to prevent future outbreaks.
“So here we have unnecessary barriers to re-opening schools, exaggerating the risk of outdoor transmission, and unworkable restrictions on summer camps. Why does this matter? It matters because it undermines public confidence in your recommendations, in the recommendations that do make sense, in the recommendations that Americans should be following.”