CDC Issues New Guidelines That Discourage COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

The president wasn't kidding that he told public health officials, ‘Slow the testing down, please!’


"With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!," tweeted President Trump back on June 23 with regard to diagnostic COVID-19 tests. "Instead of 25 million tests, let's say we did 10 million tests. We'd look like we were doing much better because we'd have far fewer cases. You understand that," Trump said on CBN News. The president told the participants at his Tulsa campaign rally in June, "I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please!'" White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany later told reporters, "It was a comment that he made in jest." Trump almost immediately contradicted McEnany, telling a reporter, "I don't kid, let me just tell you, let me make it clear."

And it turns out that the president really wasn't kidding. The New York Times is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was pressured by officials in the White House to change its testing recommendations.

U.S. Public Health Service Admiral Brett Giroir, a physician, denies being pressured. "Let me tell you right up front that the new guidelines are a C.D.C. action," said Dr. Giroir. "As always, guidelines received appropriate attention, consultation and input from task force experts—and I mean the medical and scientific experts—including C.D.C. director Redfield and myself."

The CDC's new guidelines issued on Monday do in fact discourage Americans from getting tested for COVID-19 infections. Before changes were made Monday, the CDC website said testing was recommended "for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection." The revised guideline reads:

If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms: You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one.

One problem is that if you wait to get tested until after symptoms appear after being exposed to an infected person, you can become an unwitting presymptomatic spreader of the virus. For example, one recent study found that nearly 50 percent of infections were transmitted while folks were presymptomatic. It is also possible that asymptomatic people who could be identified via a more robust testing regime may also be inadvertently infecting other people. In fact, the CDC's own current best estimate scenario assumes that asymptomatic people are 75 percent as infectious as those who have symptoms.

Instead of discouraging people from seeking COVID-19 tests, the U.S. should be massively ramping up testing as part of a comprehensive effort to control the pandemic and enable the safe reopening of the economy.

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91 responses to “CDC Issues New Guidelines That Discourage COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

  1. Fucking retarded. If you test everybody, you’re going to find a lot more cases. Most of them are going to be no big deal cases. If you only test those who are sick, you’ll find fewer cases but every goddamn one of them is going to be a severe case. If Trump wasn’t so heavily invested in stepping on his dick all the goddamn time, he’d be calling for universal testing so that he can show that, yeah, there’s a lot of cases, but look how many of them are asymptomatic or mild cases that don’t even need medical attention. The coronavirus ain’t so bad as they’re making it out to be!

    But you know goddamn well the CDC is more than happy to go along with Trump on hiding the number of cases and the severity of cases, it lets them keep claiming the coronavirus is virtually indistinguishable from the Black Death and we all need to be very, very alarmed.

    1. That hasn’t worked so far. The press is more and more obsessed over new cases then still rapidly-declining death rates.

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    2. Between ‘The Government says we should test everyone.’ and ‘The Government says we should do less testing.’ which one is the more fiscally conservative and less fascist option.

    3. If you haven’t noticed… Media doesn’t care about the deaths for the most part, they are chicken littles about number of cases now.

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  2. Who is defending Trump’s medical wisdom at this point? Anyone besides the virus deniers and conspiratards?

    1. It’s got nothing to do with “medical wisdom”, which has completely shot itself in the foot over this whole matter. Asking a bunch of doctors what to do about one specific disease without considering any social or economic consequences other than the spread of the virus itself and giving them unilateral say on what the policy should be is so far removed from “wisdom” or leadership I don’t even know where to begin.

      1. Okay, so you’re one defending the Trump policy to slow down testing to make him look good. Got it.

        1. How does finding a bunch of positive asymptomatic cases help anything? Show your work.

          Or are you complaining just to complain again instead of using logic?

          1. What a joke your existence is.

            What’s the point of data at all? I don’t think we need to count the dead. Everybody dies! No lives matter! Vote Trump!

            1. Shouldn’t you be cowering somewhere child? Or do you still not understand that in life people die? 3 million a year. 13 % of everyone over the age of 70 each year in America.

              I’m truly sorry your parents failed you. But you can stop using the dead as a political prop at any time sweetie.

              1. So why the fuck should I care about your tax rate?

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        2. One thing we know for sure from the reporting is that the USA is the worst country in the world. Worse than nations which don’t count. Worse than countries which are obviously lying. Worse than stinking countries which thousands of infected chinese are not flying into over the course of a few days.

        3. I’m not defending or endorsing Trump. I’m condemning a bullheaded, centralized, one-size fits all approach that prioritized stopping the spread of the disease as it’s ONLY consideration. The increased number of people starving to death from the economic devastation globally will likely far outnumber the deaths from the disease.

          It’s classic government refusal to consider or even acknowledge unintended consequences of it’s crazy knee-jerk policies. It’s not a Trump problem, it’s a fundamental problem with the hubris of “leadership” that is too self-assured that they can play god and beat an invisible pathogen if only they pick the right policies. It isn’t one country or one party acting this way, it is every asshole on a power trip that sees government as a hammer and every problem as a nail.

      2. Prior to COVID, it was pretty recently shown and widely acknowledged that doctors will prescribe a treatment to patients that they themselves wouldn’t undergo. That they would gladly sacrifice other’s lives and resources in ways that they themselves wouldn’t sacrifice.

    2. So we shouldn’t listen to the CDC now?

      1. Bailey wants us to listen to The New York Times instead.

  3. The point of the CDC guidelines is that people who get tested right away after contact with a positive person will show up negative even if they have it, because it takes a while for the virus to build up to levels high enough to register.

  4. Subtext to all of this is that I’m seeing the medical community trying to put a damper on some of the hysteria without coming right out and telling people they are being hysterical. It’s almost as if they are trying to deescalate the situation without letting the deescalation turn as political as everything else. My guess is that is behind the sudden ‘look, Sweden!’ articles as well as the ‘good news, herd immunity at 20%’.

    I can’t speak to the CDCs motivation, but hospitals and medical organizations want patients to stop staying away because they are afraid of catching something that they are both statistically unlikely to catch and even more statistically unlikely to get seriously sick from.

    1. just laying the groundwork for November 4th when it’s no big deal any more

    2. My pregnant wife tested positive two weeks ago. The doctor said there is nothing to be concerned about with the baby and she’ll most likely be back to normal in less than ten days. It was 5 days later and she was back to normal. It was a cold. No long term consequences, no ventilator, nothing that some Benadryl couldn’t treat the symptoms for. My other child and I repeatedly tested negative despite living with her the entire time pre, during and post her showing symptoms.

      Everyone I tell this to is flabbergasted. They’re all convinced that it has a 250% transmission rate if you brush by someone on the way into the grocery store and it is a guarenteed hospital stay. This is despite the fact that all the data is showing that anyone under 50 face almost no issues and seemingly more often than not, show no symptoms whatsoever. The more these anecdotes get out, the more people can realize that young people have almost nothing to fear from this.

      1. 270,000 dead

        Was that enough of an anecdote for you?

        1. Millions dead. This is the worst pandemic since the 1968-69 Hong Kong Flu! Or since the AIDS if you prefer.

          1. Could be the lizard people.

        2. can’t wait until you get sent to a forced fat camp so you don’t kill yourself lol.

        3. Tony
          August.26.2020 at 8:00 pm
          “270,000 dead…”

          “Total Deaths 177,759”

          Are you a lefty because you can’t tell the truth, or do your brains leak out after you get ‘infected’?

          1. And how about just a hint of honesty in our ‘science’?
            “Colorado now breaking down deaths due to COVID-19 versus people who died with COVID-19”
            “According to Friday’s data, 878 people died in Colorado due to COVID-19, while a total of 1,150 people – including the 878 – have died and had COVID-19…”

            So the reported deaths have only been overstated by, oh, 100% or so.


          Is that enough of an anecdote for you? There are other consequences besides the death from the virus to consider dipshit. The media intentionally misrepresenting what is going on and cherry picking to only represent the scariest statistics to send the first world into a kanipshin has ramifications. Collapsing the economy (which admittedly happen to a degree regardless of any policy decisions) to save a few first world geriatrics that are all over the median life average age to give them two more years in the nursing home is going to starve third world children to death by the hundreds of thousands. Please tell me again how black lives matter.

          1. You seem to think that sacrificing the olds will
            help the economy and that…. well we can just stop at you want to kill all the olds.

            1. I want to talk to you Tony, but only if you’re not drinking. I don’t like that side of you. You get Weinstein levels of handsy.

      2. Exactly! When the data don’t turn out to be what you prefer, just spread anecdotes on Facebook and pretend it’s the same thing!

        1. Hey fatty. Still scared huh. Cdc is bad now?

        2. Do you really believe that the media choosing to amplify every story where someone under 50 dies from it and make it a story isn’t anecdotal? The data has shown who is at risk since March and we continue to act like this is the black plague and all of society to bravely battle it. It’s a nonsense policy that is driven by fear, not science. We know who to hide away and who can go about their day and the faster we follow that and get people antibodies the faster we can let grandma get back to seeing her grand children. There is a very good chance that there will never be a vaccine. Time to deal with that fact.

    3. This is exactly what I told my wife the other day. I get the feeling people who took a red pill are starting to walk back their rhetoric. They can’t possibly keep this up. It’s exhausting and demoralizing.

      They have to. People are losing their minds for what amounts to a non-lethal virus that isn’t going anywhere. Not sure what ‘ramping up testing’ will accomplish.

      We have to move forward and learn to live with it. And by living with it, I mean get back to full normalcy without those stupid masks.

      Sweden again. Every way you look at this they come out having shown the most wisdom.

    4. Exactly. These “new” CDC guidelines are actually the same guidelines CDC has had in place for healthcare workers (HCWs) for months. I was the COVID emergency incident commander for the hospital where I work. These guidelines have been successful at controlling outbreaks in the overwhelming majority of US hospitals. Our hospital’s staff infection rate
      less than half the rate of the local community despite running a testing center for immunocompromised patients. These are tried & true tested guidelines. It makes sense that the CDC would roll this out to the general public. Based on CDCs HCW guidelines we do not consider our staff at high enough risk for asymptomatic surveillance testing unless both parties were unmasked and spent more than 10 minutes within 6 feet of each other. You can work at your desk 8 hours a day, and not wear a mask, as long as you are 6 feet away from your nearest co-worker. We do a lot of remote work now to make that possible. I feel like the general public’s mind would explode if they knew that is perfectly safe and acceptable in a hospital given that I’ve had people *wearing masks*
      CROSS THE STREET to not walk by me for 1 second outside on the sidewalk. Biggest facepalm ever.

  5. But you as an individual can get tested anyway so the recommendation seems unnecessary. Of course a person who is not feeling sick and doesn’t know they were exposed won’t go get tested repeatedly. Also there are false positives to consider. Finally just get on with your life and stop whining about what the bureaucracy didn’t give you.

    I still find it curious that reason is still playing this game. Libertarians used to be leave us the fuck alone. Now it’s all about what the bureaucracy does day to day and what trump tweeted. Yet no condemnation for burners looters rioters and pillagers who kill people and destroy property.

    1. they did have one article yesterday pointing out that destroying minority owned businesses isn’t justified just because the cops shot someone else

  6. We are all treated as if we have the virus, so testing doesn’t matter. Why do we look at others as zombies and wear masks everywhere? Because we assume each of us has the virus.

    1. Yes, that’s the thing I’d like to ask Bailey. How is testing supposed to lead to better control of contagion? Do the positives have to be strictly quarantined for 2 or 3 weeks? A room separate from the rest of their family? Use a potty so they don’t share the bathroom? Bag it? Supplies thru a window?

  7. I wonder how much of this has to do with the infection numbers in lockdown states being no different from or worse than infection numbers in non-lockdown states.

    1. nothing, they never mention that fact

  8. Of course, when you read the NYT article, it tells you in the first couple paragraphs that the person who suggests there was pressure to change the guidelines is an unnamed federal health official. NYT continues to slide from the “paper of record” to the paper of “unverified, anonymous, sources say”. Funny how all these anonymous people always seem to say exactly what the establishment media wants the narrative to be.

    Could it possibly be that the CDC is starting to come to its senses and they’re pulling back on a policy that seems to be creating irrational hysteria, economic desperation and social unrest now that we have enough data to know that this disease was never more than a tiny fraction as dangerous as what the soothsayers originally predicted to create this loony reaction?

    1. No, Trump did it.

  9. Seems like a pretty reasonable recommendation. If you have no reason to suspect you have it, why burden the testing system?

    Back in February you needed to be in an ICU and just returned from a flight to Wuhan to get a test.

    1. Not to mention the fact that in order to get tested, you have to go to a place full of people who think they have the Communist Chinese Virus, and are more likely than the general population to be right.
      Sounds like swimming in the shark tank to see if you are really bleeding.

    2. And that is precisely why NYC became the first epicenter.

      1. Hey buddy. How’s that Arizona death tsunami working out for you?

  10. my plan to live life around all this nonsense proved correct.

  11. Doesn’t matter what the CDC says; the socialists are going to check with the “experts” and then decide what to report.

    1. Don’t listen to those scientists, listen to these experts.

  12. I have no particular knowledge of testing procedures or what the capacity for testing is. This would make sense if there were a limited amount of tests available. I’m not sure that’s the case.

    But it seems weird to me. I’ve looked at the numbers and there isn’t much of a pattern anywhere. States have wildly different infection rates. GA runs around 10-11% positive tests. But some of the states with the highest death totals (NY, NJ) have much lower infection rates. If we don’t test asymptomatic people, we’ll never know how widespread the virus is.

    For a virus that is supposed to be easily spread, I would expect much higher infection rates. It would seem to me that more testing might show that we don’t have so much to worry about.

    1. Of course, if I ever find a libertarian web site, I would expect the see mention of the fact that getting tested puts you into a government run and controlled database, with damn few controls.

    2. Of course, but the way to do that is by random surveys, not by widespread self-selected testing.

  13. Exactly how much money and resources should the CDC tell the healthcare community to spend to track down a virus for which there are copious samples and which has largely stopped killing people?

    Whatever that number is, how does that jive with fiscal conservativism, libertarianism, and/or (real) anti-fascism, especially at this point?

    1. For a libertarian magazine, I have yet to read an article discussing this from a liberty perspective.

      1. for that reason, I tend to find the comments more enlightening than the articles. On the COVID topic, a couple of writers tend to cut-and-paste from WaPo and the NYT.

  14. LOL. Just a sad article.

  15. Ron lost his testing boner.

    1. And any credibility he ever had, but that was months ago

  16. Ron, I know you love testing and all, and so do I.

    But when the wait time for test results is stretching to 8 to 14 days, WHY would you encourage MORE people to get in line for one?

    Until the cheap paper 15-minute tests go wide, let’s all calm the fuck down and let those who really might be at risk go in for a test.

  17. Since we are all under house arrest, why test?
    It’s a waste of tax money, because fascists gotta fascist.

  18. I thought the masks solved all these problems.

    1. My brother in law saw someone sneeze IN THEIR MASK today.

      “For 45 years they told me to sneeze into a kleenex or sleeve. Now apparently sneezing in a mask is ok? It was disgusting. She inhaled it’.

      And I’m pretty sure a lot of people are doing all kinds of counter-productive things whole wearing it to the point they should put an end to the charade.

      1. while

    2. Masks do solve all of these problems. But some people don’t wear the masks, or don’t wear them all the time. If everyone wore a mask all the time then we wouldn’t be in this predicament.

      I wear a mask at the stores, out for a walk in the country, driving by myself in the car, at home, in the shower and while sleeping in my bed. I never got a virus. Heck, I’ll probably never get the flu or any other illness. It is the enlightened way.

      I wear disposable masks and always have an extra in case I sneeze into my mask. Then I throw it out and put on a new mask. I do get a little worried for that brief moment when changing masks that I am maskless. Hopefully nobody sees me.

      1. Heh.

  19. I notice Quebec is changing its tune slightly. Today they announce no contact tracing as it would violate personal rights. I was rather shocked they took this welcomed and enlightened position. But things can change like they did with the masks. They were saying all the right things about the limited effectiveness of masks and then decided to pivot without sense and make it mandatory. To me, that stank of politics and I hope they come to their senses on that front.

    People are losing their minds more and more. My wife is a happy go luck, apolitical, chirpy teacher who loves her job. Her morale is low two days into the school year.

    Sure we’re fully open but the measures imposed are joy-killing and depressing. A lot of it is irrational (no use of fridges and micro-waves) and some of it threatens the mental health of children. They’re tuning class rooms into cages as they project their fears onto kids. Great lesson their adults.

    I truly loathe the adults for what they’re doing to kids. They disgust me and I make sure to let them know what I think of them on that front.

    We have to pull back and regain our senses.

    Stop with the corona porn and fear.

    I’m at the point I don’t give a shit. If I get it, I get it. On with it for the love of God. And my respect and trust in public health officials and politicians has never been lower. The utter lack of consistent thought and wisdom is disheartening and disappointing. Rather than advise and guide people to adapt to this virus, it’s constant fear, fear, FEAR.

    I ignore them and I tell my employees to not wear the masks when no one is around. I will not be happy with myself if these muzzles impact their health. So I tell them to put it on when some government bureaucrat shows up or a parent to keep appearances and avoid trouble and to remove it soon after.

    That’s my belligerent brand of fuck you and civil disobedience.

    If we don’t push back you end up with this ‘Zero-covid’ crap I’m hearing coming out of the UK. Meaning, nothing back to normal until there are zero cases.

    That’s not a life anymore. That’s imprisonment.

    The lockdowns traumatized people. It unleashed our most primal emotion: Fear. None of it was ever rooted in any kind of science. Bt somehow the media invented it was ‘following science’ because they were to ignorant and weak to challenge the credentialed classes. Heaven forbid you ever question your betters.

    Where masks are seen as a small price to pay to get on with things, I see them as an extortion ploy if not Faustian Deal. They’re just as powerful in reminding people to remain in fear. We shouldn’t be doing that. Had we kept it voluntary, then the psychological effect would have been different. But by mandating it you’re signalling things are so bad that you need to engage in a new social habit.

    There isn’t enough empirical evidence to support mandating them. Simple as that.

    All wrongheaded.

    No shit:

    1. Every pro-lockdown, pro-mask, close everything, go remote, stay home moron should be made to face every life that’s impacted as a result:

      1. I like working from home except for the kids and the dog. The dog keeps pushing the office door open during zoom meetings to chew on the baseboard. Gotta fix that door.

        1. Your dog is bored. Take him out and play with him more. It will be good for both of you.

        2. Gotta fix that baseboard too.

    2. Canada for its part, remains full blown hysterical.

      Ottawa, Ontario, B.C., Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in particular.

      267 cases today. 7 deaths.

      But wear a shield and mask to buy bananas or a coffee.

    3. “Sure we’re fully open but the measures imposed are joy-killing and depressing. A lot of it is irrational (no use of fridges and micro-waves) and some of it threatens the mental health of children. They’re tuning class rooms into cages as they project their fears onto kids. Great lesson their adults.”

      Yes, I see it in our schools here. Our county population is 270,000. We’ve had a total of 95 deaths (over six months) and 4800 confirmed cases. Kids have to wear masks all day while sitting at their desks six feet apart from each other. Yet, the local high schools are playing football without masks which is the opposite of any kind of social distancing. Logic is missing in our society.

      1. Child. Abuse.

        They should be EXPOSED and the rules are to protect the coward adults.

      2. local high schools are playing football without masks

        Unless you mean European football, they are wearing facemasks *and* mouthpieces by regulation if not law.

    4. Rather than advise and guide people to adapt to this virus, it’s constant fear, fear, FEAR.

      Remember the constant back-and-forth banter about F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) during the the Bush years? Ah, the good old days!

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  22. “…do in fact discourage…”

    I have to guess that the author is confused about a few words, like fact and discourage. The author’s paranoid, panicky supposition is not fact. Given the author’s squealing, I was expecting the CDC’s new guideline to be something a lot more actively discouraging, “Stop getting tested, stupid”.

    Instead, the CDC recommendation is a passive “Being near someone with COVID doesn’t mean you have COVID, you’ll probably be fine. But, get tested if you are at risk, or if a doctor recommends it.”

    Nice level-headed, non-paranoid, non-panicky policy CDC. It’s about time the adults showed up.

  23. The new CDC guidelines return testing guidelines to something closer to how we deal with other diseases.

    Public health officials and politicians worshipping the administrative state have thrown public health principles and procedures out the window throughout COVID.

  24. It looks like they’re changing from if we test enough we can get down to zero cases to a more realistic understanding. We tested enough to understand that no amount of testing will ever get us to zero cases.

  25. This is Covid porn.”one recent study found that nearly 50 percent of infections were transmitted while folks were presymptomatic”.
    The “study” was an untested model – read it. The references in the “study” are to two other unverified models. The contention that presymptomatic individuals can transmit a virus is absurd. Viruses are transmitted by expectoration, sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, vomit. Sars Cov2 does not have the ability to magically teleport into an uninfected individual.

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