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US: Disputable virus guideline written by HHS officials

Advisory allegedly released despite objection from scientists of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 18.09.2020
US: Disputable virus guideline written by HHS officials

ANKARA

A controversial guideline released by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that discouraged people in certain situations from taking coronavirus tests was reportedly written by Trump administration officials despite objections from scientists.

The guidance, published on Aug. 24, said it is not necessary to test people who had been exposed to the virus but did not show symptoms, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Citing several sources close to the matter, The Times said the recommendation was written by the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) and released despite the objections from CDC scientists.

"We do not have the ability to make substantial edits," a senior CDC official responded to the objections of the scientists.

"That was a doc that came from the top down, from the HHS and the task force," a federal official told the newspaper, referring to the White House coronavirus task force.

"That policy does not reflect what many people at the CDC feel should be the policy."

The advisory has been published without going through CDC's regular scientific review process, where each document is cleared by up to 20 doctors and scientists.

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