ABC NEWS – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was forced to defend her agency’s guidance and even its integrity on Tuesday as Senate Republicans grilled her over CDC messaging on masks and other restrictions, arguing it’s frustrating and unreasonable as more Americans get vaccinated.
The Senate Health Committee hearing came hours after the Food and Drug Administration authorized coronavirus vaccinations for children ages 12 and up, widening the U.S. population that will be protected against the virus and bolstering chances for a safe return to full-time school in the fall.
Asked what she would say to parents who are considering getting their kids vaccinated now, the CDC director, while acknowledging some parents may not want to be first in line, said she would encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated and for children to ask for the shot.
“I recognize some parents want to see how it goes, but I am encouraging all children to be vaccinated. And I am also encouraging children to ask for the vaccine,” Walensky said. “I have a 16-year-old and I continue he wanted to get the vaccine. He wants his life back.”
The hearing then quickly heated up over what critics say is her agency’s murky messaging, a point Republican Sen. Susan Collins drove home by saying she “used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC.”
“I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don’t anymore,” Collins said, going onto to tick through what she called “conflicting, confusing guidance” from the CDC that contradicts health officials.
The Maine senator listed three examples she claimed have helped erode trust in CDC guidance, contending it’s too strict.
“So, here we have unnecessary barriers to reopening schools, exaggerating the risks of outdoor transmission, and unworkable restrictions on summer camps. Why does this matter?” Collins continued … Click here to read more.