Dr. Birx clarifies new CDC guidelines on coronavirus testing


WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines released earlier this week prompted backlash for suggesting people who have knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 positive patients should not necessarily get a coronavirus test themselves.

Many lawmakers questioned whether the new CDC recommendations were politically motivated.

“The CDC, for the Oval Office to be determining what the criteria are for someone to be tested. The President doesn’t want any more tests because that tells us that we have more cases. The tests are causing the infections. Really?” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield issued a statement clarifying the new guidelines. He said testing “may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.”

In an interview with NewsNation, Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said the guidelines are not meant to discourage more testing.

“These were generic guidelines for the American people as we go into the fall…we’re still recommending expanded testing in yellow and red states because it’s very important to both find asymptomatic, as well as those who have symptoms,” said Birx. “What we want to be sure going into the fall is those with symptoms that are most likely to have a more difficult course are diagnosed first, that they’re prioritized.”

Birx said the task force has encouraged governors in states that are hot zones to test more patients.

“And I think you’ll see over the next couple of weeks, a real expansion of the federal government supporting and bringing to states point of care tests,” said Birx.

Watch an exclusive interview with White House Coronavirus Task Force members Secretary Alex Azar, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, and Dr. Deborah Birx on NewsNation on WGN America.

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