Why The CDC Removed Its COVID-19 Guidance For 2021 Holiday Season

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a holiday gathering guidance on its website only to remove it shortly after it caused confusion among medical experts and the general public who read it. 

Controversy Over CDC’s Holiday Guidance

As the holidays are fast approaching, the public health agency decided to issue a new guidance on how people should safely gather amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Published on its website Friday, the update listed recommendations on how people can avoid transmissions by opting for virtual celebrations and avoiding in-person gatherings. 

The guidance was pretty much the same one the CDC published during the holiday season last year when the COVID-19 vaccines were still in the works and many places in the country were still grappling with the novel coronavirus. The guidance quickly caused some confusion among health experts and other people who saw it since a lot of things have changed since last year’s holiday season. 

Based on latest data, COVID-19 cases have dropped by more than 30% in the last two weeks. In hard-hit states like Florida and Louisiana, the figures even dropped by more than 40% now that the summer season is over, according to a report by CNBC

Aside from the guidance, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statement in a previous interview also generated buzz as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases indicated that it was still too early to tell if the general masses could gather safely this 2021 holiday season. 

Reversal Of The Holiday Recommendations

After Fauci’s interview last week, he was dubbed by many on social media as the Grinch for preventing people from enjoying this year’s Christmas and holiday season. Many were all the more irked after stumbling upon the holiday guidance released by the CDC, considering that national reports have stated that more than half of the country is now fully vaccinated. 

Following the backlash, Fauci explained in another interview on CNN that his statement was “misinterpreted” as he was just emphasizing the need for more people to get the COVID-19 shots now that the winter season is approaching. He then went on to reveal that he is spending Christmas with his family this year and he is encouraging everyone to do the same, especially the people who have already been vaccinated against the virus. 

Amid Fauci’s clarification, the CDC has also evidently deleted the holiday guidance it issued last week as it is now nowhere to be seen on its website. The public health agency remarked that it is currently working on an update. However, it also put the blame on a computer glitch for the controversial notice. 

“The content is in the process of being updated by CDC to reflect current guidance ahead of this holiday season. The page had a technical update on Friday, but doesn’t reflect the CDC’s guidance ahead of this upcoming holiday season. CDC will share additional guidance soon,” CDC’s Kristen Nordlund was quoted as saying by KOMO News.

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