The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday quietly changed its coronavirus official guidance to note that coronavirus droplets, or "aerosols," can stay in the air far longer than previously thought and across far more than just six feet.
"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)."
This would be a revelation to many, who have relied on CDC guidance urging people to social distance, which it has consistently defined as staying six feet apart.
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital physician Abraar Karan, who is working on Massachusetts' COVID-19 respoinse, calls the CDC update "a significant shift."
But the CDC also effectively loosened its guidance, suggestion to stay "at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible."
Under the "Protect yourself and others" section, the previous version, up until sometime on Friday, read: "Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet). This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19."
Now it states:
Stay at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible. This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst and former Clinton White House press secretary, took to Twitter to blast the administration.
"Actually seven months after @realDonaldTrump told Bob Woodward," about just how deadly coronavirus is, and that it spread through the air, he wrote. "This is criminal and people need to go to prison for this."
To be clear, President Trump knew.
“This is deadly stuff,” he told the Washington Post's Bob Woodward, on tape. “You just breathe the air, and that’s how it’s passed.”