Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday questioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent guidance instructing vaccinated Americans to mask up in areas of high transmission; he pointed out the guidance was influenced, in part, by an irrelevant study of vaccines not used in the U.S. while warning Americans will not be “consigned by what some bureaucracy says.”
“I think it’s important to point out with the CDC’s change in terms of what they recently did, what they cite for that, was a study out of India, which was not accepted for peer-review, but which compared the viral load in vaccinated people with vaccines that aren’t approved in the United States,” DeSantis explained during a press conference in Cape Coral, where he announced an executive order giving parents the power to determine if their child will wear a mask in school.
“And so what does that have to do with this? They claim there’s all this data. They haven’t produced data,” he said of the CDC. “They produce these models which is just all the assumptions you can put in.”
All the while, DeSantis continued, Americans are getting skeptical.
“And so that is what they based it on, and you’re finding a lot of people that are like, ‘Well, wait a minute. You keep changing the rules on us. What’s going on?’ But I can tell you, we’ve got to use common sense,” he said.
“We’ve got to do what’s right, and we’re not consigned by what some bureaucracy says,” the Republican governor continued, using the Sunshine State as an example.
DeSantis recalled that the CDC originally did not prioritize seniors in its guidance for vaccine distribution, opting to, instead, look to “equity” concerns. However, the governor said he looked at the data, showing higher fatality rates for those 65 and older, and decided to prioritize seniors first. The establishment media reacted harshly, accusing him of “bucking” CDC recommendations.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said, noting that the federal health agency eventually altered its own stance.
This week, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) drew attention to the controversial study, concluding the mask mandates were “coming back based on research that’s inapplicable from the get-go”:
For over a year CDC has utterly failed to grasp complex play btwn risk balancing + human behavior. Instead of communicating risks & allowing us to exercise judgment CDC issues sweeping proclamations that cast doubt + undermine trust. This category mistake is no different. (2/2)
— Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) July 28, 2021
As Breitbart News detailed:
Indeed, the CDC did, in fact, feature a study that was based, partially, on a vaccine not yet approved in the U.S., rendering that particular finding inapplicable in the states.
“We used a Delta variant live virus isolate to test susceptibility to vaccine elicited neutralising antibodies in individuals vaccinated with ChAdOx-1 or BNT162b2,” the research reads. The first vaccine referenced is the Oxford-developed AstraZeneca vaccine, not used in the U.S., and the second is the Pfizer vaccine, one of the main vaccines used in the U.S. under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Notably, none of the vaccines in the U.S. have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Despite that, the CDC presumably used the study as a partial framework for its updated guidance, which instructs fully vaccinated people to mask up.
A scientific brief from the CDC, last updated July 27, cited the study in question.
“Studies from India with vaccines not authorized for use in the United States have noted relatively high viral loads and larger cluster sizes associated with infections with Delta, regardless of vaccination status,” it read.