Ivanka Trump and Kellyanne Conway Despatched ‘Dictates’ to CDC to Downplay COVID Severity Say Former Trump Appointees

Dr. Robert Redfield, the controversial and contested director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fell slightly on Thursday, which his agency released Monday, dramatically reversing month-long guidelines for coronavirus testing.

These new guidelines mandated that even those who have come into close contact with people infected with coronavirus should not be tested unless they showed symptoms. President Donald Trump has been trying to have fewer coronavirus tests done for months.

Experts attacked the new policy, saying it would “kill” Americans.

The way back was nuanced. CNBC described Redfield’s remarks as a “defense” of the guidelines released earlier this week.

On Monday, the CDC said that those who “have been in close contact (within 6 feet) with a person with COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but have no symptoms … don’t necessarily need a test.”

On Thursday, Redfield massaged the guideline to say, “Testing may be considered” for those who have been exposed.

It’s a small but important change for the Trump administration as it keeps the decision to run testing in the hands of medical professionals, which means fewer Americans will be tested to meet Trump’s goal.

The decision to change policy came from the top of the Trump White House, CNN reported on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Redfield made sure to follow Trump’s line and even falsely said, “Anyone who needs a Covid-19 test can get a test.”

The Hill notes that Trump is achieving his goal of testing less.

“After peaking nearly a million new tests a month ago, the number of tests performed daily has dropped to less than 700,000 in the past four days, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project, an independent group of researchers.”

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