CDC Quietly Declares Unboosted Equals Unvaccinated

CDC Quietly Declares Unboosted Equals Unvaccinated
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

When Joe Biden pulled the political equivalent of the Irish Goodbye yesterday — which is to say, when he reneged on what he’s been promising for the last year, which also happens to be the core issue of his presidential platform during the 2020 campaign — and then hopped a flight without much explanation, one could imagine the jaws of mayors in major cities hit the floor in awe. Because if there is no “federal response” to COVID as Old Joe said, then those mayors are flying solo on vaccine mandates some implemented just days before. For what it’s worth, the list of cities requiring vaccine or testing mandates reads like a shortlist of places you should avoid going on vacation any time soon. There’s probably a story there, but I digress.

Back to Biden’s deuces moment on the White House lawn…It was quite surprising, to say the least, and made one wonder if the recent decision by SCOTUS to hear arguments on federal vaccine mandates in early January may have played a role in the president’s abandonment of loyal progressive mayors to the will of their state governors (except DC, which answers to Congress). In other words, Biden’s baffling unshackling of himself from everything he’s said for the last two years may be a bellwether for how SCOTUS could rule on the mandate issue. To wit: strike them down like Thor with his lightning bolts (but maybe not. We’ll have to wait and see).

A wrinkle came Monday when the CDC updated their COVID guidance from a 10-day isolation period to a five-day isolation period, because buried in that new guidance was a quiet little proviso that threw the unboosted back into the dirty pile of the unvaccinated.

Earlier, I noted how the CDC arbitrarily halved its quarantine guidance from ten days to five. But one other thing I found interesting is that in its revised guidance for those who have been exposed, it lumps in vaccinated individuals who have not been boosted with those who were never vaccinated.

The guidance reads:

For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

The message is clear — if you are vaccinated but un-boosted, you need to take the same level of precaution as those who have never been vaccinated.

When Florida governor Ron DeSantis predicted that President Biden’s vaccine mandate would eventually apply to people who were vaccinated but not boosted, he was slammed by fact checkers. Weeks later, Anthony Fauci conceded the change was only a matter of “when, not if.” Now, CDC is in effect already treating those who merely received two doses as the same as those who are unvaccinated.

As Phil Klein notes, the mandates and changes to the definition of vaccinated are not happening simultaneously arbitrarily. Rather, he suggests “[r]equiring people to be vaccinated and then boosted every six months or so would be unprecedented and create something like a permanent surveillance state [and] CDC is inching us closer to that point.”


Leaving aside that frightening supposition for a moment, a very real question is how much will the people who have been complying every step of the way with every draconian measure this jolly band of authoritarians peddles consent to, once again, being deemed the dirty unclean and suspending risk analysis (which is getting harder to do) to be allowed to enter a restaurant in their city? Because their relative compliance might be the difference in just how much the government gets to track our movements as we are made — or not made — to line up again for our quarterly shots.

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