UPDATED 11:43 AM PT – Thursday, August 27, 2020
The director of the CDC appears to walk back recent changes to testing guidance after the agency changed testing recommendations earlier this week.
In a statement Thursday, Dr. Robert Redfield said people who come in contact with confirmed or probable coronavirus cases could be tested even if they are asymptomatic.
According to Redfield, testing is meant to achieve specific health objectives and everyone who needs a test can get one, but not everyone who wants a test necessarily needs a test. His remarks came after the CDC updated test guidance this week by noting suspected asymptomatic people did not need to get tested.
— ADM Brett P. Giroir (@HHS_ASH) August 19, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, also defended the move Thursday.
“The guidance that was updated is that there continues to be backlogs in the system with the testing, particularly for people who were getting tested that were asymptomatic,” he stated. “…it’s not a matter of slowing down…over 800,000 tests are being conducted a day, more than any other country in the world.”
Dr. Redfield noted the guidance changes had been coordinated with the White House coronavirus task force.