CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admits that over 75 per cent of COVID-19 deaths occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities.
Walensky made her controversial remarks while speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America about a study showing that vaccines targeting COVID-19 and its variants have successfully prevented hospitalization.
Walensky began her remarks by answering a question about the CDC’s new guidelines suggesting that people who contract the virus should only isolate for five days, down from 10 days, and then reintegrate into society while wearing a mask.
“Isolation, we talk about isolation in the context of people who’ve had a positive test, who know that they are infected,” said Walensky. “And we now have dozens of studies referenced on the CDC website that have demonstrated that you are most infectious in the one to two days before your symptoms and the two to three days after your symptoms. So by five days after your symptoms, the vast majority of your contagiousness is really behind you.”
“And what we say at day five, then, is: Are your symptoms gone? Are you feeling better? Is your cough gone? Sore throat gone?” she continued. “And if so, then it is safe to go out if you are wearing a mask all the time. And that means not going out to restaurants; not going out to gyms, not going out in visiting grandma, but really conscientiously wearing your mask for those last five days.”
“Now, some have said they are interested in using an antigen or a home test at the end of those five days, and if people are interested and have access then they may choose to take that extra step and do that antigen test,” she added. “And that means that if that test is positive, you should stay home for five days but if that test is negative, you should go out and continue to wear your mask.”
The host asked Walensky about a new study showing how successful vaccines have been in preventing hospitalizations and whether that should provoke a reconsideration about how to live with an endemic COVID-19.
“The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75 per cent, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities,” replied Walensky. “So, really, these are people who were unwell to begin with.”
“And yes, really encouraging news in the context of Omicron; this means not only just to get your primary series but to get your booster series. And yes, we’re really encouraged by these results,” she added.
Walensky’s remarks were not well received on social media where many condemned her for being insensitive to the morbidly obese, who make up a significant portion of those who have died from COVID-19.