When the CDC issued new guidelines recently on when people still need to wear masks, the guidelines were seen as so conservative that they prompted a primetime rant on “The Daily Show.”
“I know science is difficult … but who’s running messaging at the CDC?” asked the show’s host, Trevor Noah.
Some public health experts are asking the same question. Most experts interviewed for this story say the agency has struggled to take advantage of the latest scientific findings to communicate as rapidly as possible with the American public. And when the guidance is issued, it tends to be overly cautious.
Still, public health officials say the conservative nature of the agency’s approach to Covid is a marked departure from how it deals with other major public health issues, like HIV and opioid use disorder.
Multiple experts told STAT that they fear the CDC’s recommendations are becoming irrelevant for most Americans. They worry, too, that guidelines, like the CDC’s advice on masking, so seriously underplay the benefits of getting vaccinated that they risk dissuading people from getting a shot in the first place.
Author(s): Nicholas Florko
Publication Date: 11 May 2021
Publication Site: Stat News