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CDC’s Covid-19 Mask Guidance Clouded by Flawed Data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is fighting Covid-19 without a full arsenal of data that some public-health experts said it would need to persuade more people to take steps to contain the pandemic.

8/3/2021 5:04:00 PM

The CDC’s latest guidance in the fight against Covid-19 was made without a full arsenal of data that some public-health experts say it would need to persuade people to take steps necessary to contain the pandemic. via WSJ

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is fighting Covid-19 without a full arsenal of data that some public-health experts said it would need to persuade more people to take steps to contain the pandemic.

, where it said large gatherings in July at bars, nightclubs and house parties led to hundreds of Covid-19 infections. More studies released over the weekend backed the CDC’s conclusion, Dr. Walensky said.The Provincetown data contained two startling details: nearly three-quarters of infected people were fully vaccinated, the CDC said, and samples showed that the amount of virus infected people carried—or viral load—was similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. The CDC concluded from the latter that vaccinated people who become infected

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might spread the Delta variant as readilyas the unvaccinated.The meaning of some of the viral load data has been disputed. Inside the CDC, some officials disagree with the agency’s conclusion that vaccinated people who become infected may spread the virus as readily as the unvaccinated, and argue that more testing needs to be done, including tests that measure how infectious virus particles are, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Newsletter Sign-upCoronavirus Briefing and Health WeeklyGet a morning briefing about the coronavirus pandemic three times a week and a weekly Health newsletter when the crisis abates.PREVIEWSUBSCRIBE“There’s no one-to-one relationship between high viral load and infectivity, but we’re always making decisions based on imperfect data,” said Tom Frieden, who headed the CDC from 2009 to 2017. headtopics.com

Some scientists say that the Provincetown study isn’t reliable enough to be the primary driver of a public health policy change. The data is too recent to be independently reviewed by outside experts, and it is too small of a sample and the circumstances of the outbreak are too unique for it to be applied to other parts of the country.

The connection between the Provincetown data and the CDC’s new mask guidelines hasstruck some scientists as obscure. The guidance applied to areas with high transmission of the virus, which tend to be parts of the U.S. with lower vaccination rates. Vaccination rates in Provincetown were high, around 69% for eligible Massachusetts residents.

While Covid-19 vaccinations are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations or death from the virus, they’re not foolproof in preventing infection. This poses problems for events like the Olympics and raises broader questions about immunity in the long term. Photo: David Crigger/Associated Press

“They’re making these decisions on the basis of extremely weak and unreliable data, and at the same time not doing the necessary work to reduce uncertainty among the population,” said Vinay Prasad, a physician and professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. “When there isn’t a lot of study data, the CDC should be conducting these studies.” headtopics.com

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CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund didn’t return messages seeking comment on any alleged weaknesses in the data.The CDC’s challenge extends beyond the Covid-19 crisis. The agency often relies on samples to determine the extent of disease outbreaks or vaccination levels, and some public-health experts say its ability to collect comprehensive data in real-time is lacking.

The CDC said people should wear masks again indoors in areas with ‘substantial’ levels of Covid-19 transmission. Read more: »

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The entire population of Gibraltar was vaccinated. They are canceling events due to infections. All you idiots screwed this up from the get go. It’s pretty simple. The HONOR SYSTEM didn’t work. Since we can’t trust the unvaccinated to do the right thing, EVERYBODY needs to mask up. Restrictions on hospitalization and surgery have begun in Japanese hospitals. It's crazy that the Olympics are being held there

just do what we tell you and don’t ask questions What they really mean is ..

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