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‘It was a close call’: CDC Director defends overruling FDA advisory, says science is ‘starting to emerge’

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky joined Fox News host Bret Baier on Friday in an attempt to clarify the mixed messaging coming from the CDC following her decision to break with her own agency on booster shot guidelines.

Thursday evening, Walensky decided to institute a booster recommendation for younger at-risk workers, citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration booster authorization from earlier this week; this despite the CDC’s own Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices panel decision that the booster shot be recommended only for Americans 65 and older and for those over 50 with underlying medical conditions that put them at greater risk.

Baier asked the CDC Director whether or not she was following the science as Americans watch the CDC flip flop on their guidelines daily.

“We are absolutely following the science,” Walensky responded on “Special Report.”

(Source: Fox News)

“I have attended FDA advisory committee that occurred on Friday and listened to hours of scientists. I attended and tuned in to hours-long deliberation and discussion from a stellar group of academicians that were part of our advisory panel at the CDC. I think what you’re starting to see is the science is emerging,” Walensky continued.

According to the CDC Director, the “science” that government agencies and actors have been touting this whole time is just “starting” to “emerge”.

“We are in a pandemic here. We are actively getting new information everyday about the effectiveness of these vaccines, the effectiveness of boosters, of the safety of these vaccines, and we are updating our guidance every single day and following the science,” Walensky said in what appeared to be an attempt to reassure the public of her steadfast decision making.

For some, this argument is precisely the reason so many remain hesitant to get the jab. Fox News host Shannon Bream played a clip on her show of Admiral Brett P. Giroir, coronavirus testing czar under the Trump administration, pointing out that the lack of safety data could lead to more vaccine hesitancy.

(Source: Fox News)

“[Walensky] may feel good about her decision, but the American people are confused and this is why you see so many people who are vaccine-hesitant because they don’t understand what the policy is, they don’t know what the science is,” Paris Dennard, the RNC’s national spokesperson argued on Bream’s panel.

“We don’t even hear from Dr. Fauci, we don’t hear from the Covid-19 task force on a regular basis from the White House podium, they’re MIA. But what we have are these political decisions that are being made that are confusing people and these forced vaccine mandates that are discriminatory, especially to minorities and are causing people to be more hesitant,” Dennard concluded, saying that the Biden administration’s vaccine efforts are “failing on every scale”.

Baier brought up that the FDA initially voted 16-2 against the general broad booster shot for everybody, though it did recommend it for those 65 and older and the immunocompromised.

“That was unanimous on the FDA advisory council and their guidance and their safety and efficacy guidance suggested and regulatorily approved the authorization for use in people with occupational exposure. It came to our CDC advisory board and we deliberated on it. It was a close call. As you noted, the vote was 6-9. But we had a unanimous vote from the FDA, we had a close call from the CDC and following the science, following the safety, I made the decision to go along with what the FDA said and with what many of what our advisory board said,” Walensky responded.

In a final attempt to clarify the new guidance, Walensky reiterated exactly who should consider a booster shot:

“We do not recommend boosters for every American at this moment in the United States. What we said is boosters are now recommended for people over the age of 65, people in longterm care facilities, for people at high risk for severe disease by virtue of comorbidities, and for high risk of people who are exposed by virtue of where they live or where they work. So this is not for all Americans and it’s certainly after six months past your second dose and this is for people who’ve received Pfizer.”

 

Baier pointed out that Americans, vaccine-hesitant or not, remain curious about the possibility of natural immunity– an idea repeatedly quashed by the government in their all-or-nothing push for vaccinations.

“We do know that people who have infection-induced immunity get a robust response, some of them do, we have seen data that has demonstrated that. We have also seen data that if you vaccinate those people, they’re two and a half times more protected than they would have been if you don’t vaccinate those people and that’s the reason for the recommendation to vaccinate people who have infection-induced immunity,” Walensky explained, painfully trying to express use of logic and science.

There is still a lot that experts don’t know, and they refuse to admit just how in the dark they remain in favor of peddling the vaccine, or in this case, boosters for Americans who don’t need them simply because.

“Importantly though, there are things we don’t know, so we don’t know for example, what if you only had mild disease? Or what if you had disease months ago and how much has your immunity waned? Or in fact, what if you had another variant? How well is your protection against Delta variant. So in the context of so many scientific questions around this, we are absolutely recommending that people who have had infection before again be vaccinated,” the CDC Director continued.

The longer America remains at the mercy of the government’s coronavirus response, the more abundantly clear it becomes that the vaccine, which they are practically forcing into people’s arms, despite being the best precaution against death or hospitalization by the virus, is still very new. And experts, even the CDC director may not know as much as they let on.

Kay Apfel

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