CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has been making the rounds today to talk about the new CDC guidance that if you are fully vaccinated, you can dispense with masks outdoors and indoors.
As my colleague Bonchie reported earlier, Walensky went on CNN with Dana Bash and made some astonishing remarks. She spoke about folks who had died with COVID after being vaccinated, but said that not all of those people had actually died because of the virus.
“Not all of those 223 cases who had Covid actually died of Covid. They may have had mild disease but died, for example, of a heart attack.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, somewhat confusingly, says they are aware of 223 people who have died with covid after being vaccinated.
"Not all of those 223 cases who had covid actually died of covid. They may have had mild disease but died, for example, of a heart attack." pic.twitter.com/KmjbrXnd1k
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 16, 2021
But over the past year, when people did die with the virus, they have often been counted as a “COVID death” if it could be counted as a factor, according to the CDC guidance. But now, in the context of the small number of COVID deaths after getting vaccinated, Walensky is pointing out the distinction between a death “from COVID” versus “with COVID.”
Walensky also went on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Martha Raddatz and said something else that’s making eyebrows go up.
CDC Dir. Rochelle Walensky defends new mask guidance for vaccinated Americans, telling @MarthaRaddatz: "We now have science that has really just evolved even in the last two weeks that demonstrates that these vaccines are safe, they are effective." https://t.co/gpjJwNg0q7 pic.twitter.com/0t0SX6OmXN
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 16, 2021
Raddatz said, “It was just Tuesday when you sat before a Senate committee, and you were adamant then that masking and social distancing should remain in place. But The Washington Post is reporting you had already approved the decision to change the guidance. When it was finally announced on Thursday, it came as a huge surprise, and left some administration officials, doctors, businesses, off-guard. So, why so suddenly, and why did you not tell the Senate panel what you had decided?”
Great question from Raddatz, which reflected how even liberal media is frustrated with the changing messages.
“First of all, let’s celebrate this moment,” she said. She then went on to say that the “science has just evolved” over the past two weeks.
“Cases have been coming down more than a third just in the last two weeks. We have vaccine now across this country widely available for anyone who wants it. And we now have science that has really just evolved even in the last two weeks that demonstrates that these vaccines are safe, they are effective, they are working in the population, just as they did in the clinical trials, that they are working against our variants that we have here circulating in the United States, and that, if you were to develop an infection, while — even if you got vaccinated, that you can’t transmit that infection to other people. Some of that science was really evolving as late as last Thursday.”
So, there are a few questions that people had in response to the comment that the science has “evolved.”
— John Ondrasik (@johnondrasik) May 16, 2021
If we just found out the vaccines were safe and effective why did we give them to tens of millions of people https://t.co/HjmhB3uIdQ
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) May 16, 2021
Of course, they were safe and effective, and they knew it — or they wouldn’t have been giving them to people.
What’s “evolved” has been the message.