The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday quietly updated its official coronavirus guidance to reveal the pathogen is airborne, and can stay in the air at distances greater than six feet.
Few noticed the change but CNN reported it over the weekend.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the update read.
That updated guidance has now been deleted, as Harvard professor and former DHS official Juliette Kayyam noted.
Pro-tip. Just got word from internal source that CDC took down the aerosol guidance. I don't see it anymore. WTF.— Juliette Kayyem (@Juliette Kayyem)1600703939.0
She later noted CDC added a note to the page, claiming the update (which is critical information for everyone around the world) was a draft version.
"A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted."
Here's how some experts are responding:
Award-winning medical science writer covering the pandemic for the New York Times:
a huge big wtf. Looks like the aerosol language that made it on to the @CDCgov website has now disappeared again. I… https://t.co/8cM4MglSU4— Apoorva Mandavilli (@Apoorva Mandavilli)1600704025.0
Epidemiologist, Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
🚨HOLY HELL—CDC has now taken down the “coronavirus is aerosol & airborne” guidance from yesterday!!!! It’s like gon… https://t.co/72MgkBl3gj— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)1600704840.0
4) I thought Mike Caputo is on medical leave... clearly Trump HHS muzzling of the CDC from many inside levers. CDC,… https://t.co/AmRWS8X7IU— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)1600705339.0
Ex-Obama health care head:
BREAKING: The CDC now pulls down language saying COVID aerisolizes. It’s reasonable to wonder who is calling the s… https://t.co/65xM27dnHI— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡🇺🇸 (@Andy Slavitt @ 🏡🇺🇸)1600706088.0
Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, former Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at NYU School of Medicine:
The CDC's last bit of credibility is absolutely gone. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has walked b… https://t.co/SGsAUVT1rq— uché blackstock, md (@uché blackstock, md)1600707287.0
Physician, Health Policy Researcher, NBC and MSNBC contributor:
The only thing accidental about the CDC taking down the guidance that Coronavirus is airborne at >6 ft etc is that… https://t.co/2KgRlfssJz— Kavita Patel M.D. (@Kavita Patel M.D.)1600706407.0
Molecular Biologist, and President of the Federation of American Scientists:
WHO: CDC guidance on aerosol transmission was draft advice and was taken down. We need to see what the final advice… https://t.co/3Q9xLFWQHp— Dr. Ali Nouri (@Dr. Ali Nouri)1600705940.0
Kayyem adds this:
CDC now says the guidance "does not reflect our current state of knowledge." That is not "we were 90% done, but nee… https://t.co/XYf4lu3chG— Juliette Kayyem (@Juliette Kayyem)1600707437.0
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.