Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might be considering an update to their recently-changed isolation and testing guidelines regarding people who had either tested positive for COVID-19 or had been exposed to someone who had tested positive.
Fauci joined host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss the changes — reducing isolation time for asymptomatic individuals from ten days to five days and eliminating the testing requirement for those whose symptoms had resolved after five days.
Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @GStephanopoulos that the CDC is considering amending the isolation guidance for asymptomatic patients to include testing.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 2, 2022
“A pretty big backlash this week to the CDC cutting quarantine for those testing positive without symptoms to five days,” Stephanopoulos began. “First of all, are you surprised by that, and what was the – why not have a negative test? Why not require a negative test for that extra layer of protection?”
“Well, let’s talk about the first principle, George. The idea of if a person is without symptoms and infected, that they need to be isolated for five days. Normally that would be ten days. The CDC decided that they would cut that down to five days if the person remains asymptomatic so long as when they do go out in the second five days of that ten-day period, back to work or back into society, that they diligently wear a mask,” Fauci explained.
“You’re right there has been some concern about why we don’t ask people at that five-day period to get tested. That is something that is now under consideration,” he continued. “The CDC is very well aware that there has been some pushback about that. Looking at it again, there may be an option in that, that testing could be apart of that, and I think we’re going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC.”
As the Daily Wire previously reported, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that the newly adjusted guidelines had been the result of what public health officials believed people could “tolerate” in addition to the science behind the virus’ spread.
“Of course there is this tail end period of time in the last five days where we are asking you to mask. But the other things we were looking at is the epidemiology here. We are seeing and expecting even more cases of this Omicron variant. Many of those cases are mildly symptomatic, if not asymptomatic,” Walensky continued. “And then finally the behavioral science. What will people actually do when they get back to work?…If we can get them to isolate, we want to make sure they are isolating in the first five days when they are maximally infectious.”
“So from what you are saying, it sounds like this decision had just as much to do with business as it did with the science,” Collins pushed back.
“It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate,” Walensky replied, adding, “We have seen relatively low rates of isolation for all of this pandemic. Some science has demonstrated that less than a third of people are isolating when they need to. We really want to make sure we have guidance in this moment where we were going to have a lot of disease that could be adhered to, that people were willing to adhere to, and that spoke to specifically when people were maximally infectious. So it really spoke to both behaviors and to what people were able to do.”