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The CDC is Finally Throwing the White Flag on Covid-19 Regulations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in full retreat on Covid-19 restrictions, over two years into a pandemic that has reached endemic stage and after 99% of Americans have survived with natural immunity from prior infection.

The CDC on Thursday “loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread,” the Washington Post reported.

“No longer do schools and other institutions need to screen apparently healthy students and employees as a matter of course,” the report added. “The CDC is putting less emphasis on social distancing. Its quarantine rule for unvaccinated people is gone. The agency’s focus now is on highly vulnerable populations, and how to protect them — not on the vast majority of people who at this point have some immunity against the virus and are unlikely to become severely ill.”

“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” CDC epidemiologist Greta Massetti said Thursday in a press briefing.

“When considering whether and where to implement screening testing of asymptomatic people with no known exposure, public health officials might consider prioritizing high-risk congregate settings, such as long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities, and workplace settings that include congregate housing with limited access to medical care,” the CDC wrote in a report on the changes.

“I think the question is, is the CDC finally saying, ‘Look, we’ve done what we can do to contain the most acute phases of this pandemic,’ ” said Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious-diseases expert and clinician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “So are they just finally saying that it is time for us to sort of take a step back and think about putting this back to the individual person?”

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The more relaxed guidelines are “a concession to realism, to the way that a lot of people are handling this,” added William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“The revision by the CDC of its coronavirus guidance is the most significant move by the agency since the massive outbreak of infections from omicron last winter,” the Post notes.

Dr. Nicole Saphier did a review of the CDC’s changes.

“A big update from @CDCgov today is the CDC recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status – acknowledging breakthrough infections are common, and taking natural immunity into consideration,” Dr. Saphier noted.

“The CDC no longer recommends people quarantine themselves following exposure to someone with Covid-19,” she added. “They have also removed the social distance recommendation of staying at least 6 feet away from others. Both actions are overdue but important heading into the school year.”

She also noted that the rationale behind the Covid vaccine mandates has now been completely gutted.

“Now that the CDC no longer differentiates between Covid vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals, every employee fired for being unvaccinated should be given their job back with a formal apology and backpay,” she said.

The Biden administration is thus finally adopting the common sense policies that were put into place by governors like Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis. This is the CDC waving the white flag on Covid-19 ahead of the midterm elections.


OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.