Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed Wednesday that the reason behind recent changes to quarantine and isolation protocols was to “keep society running.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday that individuals who are asymptomatic and test positive for COVID-19 only need to quarantine for five days, not ten, going forward. Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, echoed the sentiments of CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said Wednesday morning that the changes were based on what people would be able to “tolerate.”
“The purpose of it was, that given the wave, the extraordinary unprecedented wave of infections that we are experiencing now and will certainly experience more of in the next few weeks, that there is the danger that there will be so many people who are being isolated who are asymptomatic for the full ten days that you could have a major negative impact on our ability to keep society running,” Fauci said in an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“So the decision was made, although it’s not completely risk free, of saying let’s get that cut in half, so that we can have 50%, namely half of the ten days, and 50% of that time, people can actually be out with a mask in society,” he continued.
When it announced the change, the CDC cited evidence that most COVID-19 transmission occurs in the 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Additionally, with a majority of American adults vaccinated and the virus clearing from the systems of vaccinated individuals faster, the agency indicated that five days was long enough for most people to be assumed safe if they are asymptomatic. (RELATED: Florida Surgeon General Claims Biden Admin Is ‘Actively Preventing’ Distribution Of COVID Treatments)
The Biden CDC’s decision came under scrutiny from some, particularly to the president’s left, as an alleged giveaway to big business. The policy shift came about a week after the CEO of Delta Airlines penned a letter to the CDC asking for quarantine and isolation times to be reduced, and many businesses have been negatively impacted by workers having to take time off to quarantine if infected with or exposed to the virus.
Less than two weeks before the CDC’s major shift, Biden warned that unvaccinated Americans will experience a “winter of severe illness and death.”