Only a tiny percentage of fully vaccinated Americans have contracted COVID-19, according to new data released on Friday – leading to accusations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scaremongering by issuing dire warnings about the Delta variant.
The Delta variant is sweeping the United States and causing a significant surge in cases. Mask mandates have been reintroduced in areas such as Los Angeles County, and the CDC on Tuesday recommended that all people resume wear masks indoors.
Yet on Friday it emerged that the risk for fully vaccinated people was incredibly small – leading a former White House coronavirus advisor to label the CDC’s communication strategy a ‘disaster.’
Only 6,587 – or 0.004 per cent – of the 163 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 had suffered serious ‘breakthrough’ infections as of Monday.
The CDC on Friday published its latest data, showing that only 0.004 per cent of fully vaccinated Americans have been hospitalized or died from COVID-19
A mass vaccination site is seen in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on January 15. The CDC is recommending that vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19
Of that total, 6,239 people were hospitalized and 1,263 died, according to the data.
Those numbers amount to 0.0038 percent and less than 0.0008 percent, respectively.
Admiral Brett Giroir, who served on Donald Trump’s COVID taskforce, told Fox News on Friday that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made a mistake in failing to disclose the full data until Friday.
‘One thing that I think was a disaster is to come out with recommendations when you had the data but didn’t disclose the data,’ he said.
The CDC was criticized this week by politicians and scientists alike for updating the mask guidance without detailing the science behind it.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Washington Post that the move violated scientific norms.
‘You don’t, when you’re a public health official, want to be saying, ‘Trust us, we know, we can’t tell you how,’ Jamieson said.
‘The scientific norm suggests that when you make a statement based on science, you show the science.
‘And the second mistake is they do not appear to be candid about the extent to which breakthroughs are yielding hospitalizations.’
Kevin McCarthy, the most senior Republican in the House, was vocal in his condemnation of the CDC and the Biden administration, pouring scorn over their research and describing the mask u-turn as ‘total hypocrisy’.
Joe Biden has been strongly urging people to get vaccinated. On May 13 he celebrated the announcement that face masks were no longer necessary – something critics have seized upon
The CDC itself, in an internal document obtained by The Washington Post, admitted that there were ‘communication challenges’ fueled by cases in vaccinated people, including concerns from local health departments about whether coronavirus vaccines remain effective and a ‘public convinced vaccines no longer work/booster doses needed.’
Giroir reiterated that the Delta variant will mainly affect unvaccinated Americans.
‘Vaccinations are highly effective against death and hospitalizations. It’s less effective about preventing infections – it doesn’t create a force field around you.
‘That’s why you need to get the vaccine,’ he said.
’Their messaging needs a lot of help. That’s why I want to help transmit that message.’
On Thursday, Giroir warned Fox News viewers that if they were not vaccinated, they were very likely to get COVID because the Delta variant was so contagious.
Brett Giroir, who served on Donald Trump’s COVID taskforce, said he was concerned about the CDC’s communications strategy
He reminded viewers that it was as infectious as chickenpox and Ebola.
On Friday, he said: ‘If vaccines stay where they are right now, from a public-health standpoint masking indoors is gonna have to be added to control this.
’And if people don’t mask and they don’t get vaccinated, then, unfortunately, governments are going to be put into the situation of considering lockdowns, which I think would be a disaster.
‘Until everybody can get vaccinated, if you’re in a high-risk circumstance, like being in an indoor party, it’s a good idea to wear a mask.
‘It will protect you and it will protect others from being infected by you.’