By Jack Phillips
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent mask guidance update is based on a study that evaluated the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine that is “not approved in America.”
“I just left speaking with Dr. Monahan from the House. He said he used the CDC recommendation on a report that hasn’t been printed yet,” McCarthy said on the House floor, referring to Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of Congress.
“He did not know that the report is based upon India, about a vaccine that’s not approved in America, and now he did not know that it didn’t even pass peer-review.”
The CDC report, published July 27, notes that “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,” referring to the COVID-19 Delta variant. According to the CDC, the data suggests that “breakthrough Delta infections are transmissible.”
McCarthy argued that it’s likely that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top doctors weren’t aware of the CDC’s report.
“That’s why vaccinated people in this House now have to wear a mask. There is no science, but I guess the Speaker must have not known that. Why wouldn’t the Speaker know the facts? Do you know what frustrates Americans the most? Hypocrisy,” he said.
Some experts have questioned whether the CDC would provide data for its recommendation that unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals wear masks in high-transmission areas.
In the text of its masking guidance, the agency cited “CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021.” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spoke to reporters on July 27 and cited “new scientific data” but provided few details.
A spokesperson for the CDC told The Epoch Times on July 28 that the studies the agency cited to make its mask recommendation haven’t yet been published.
Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health, told The Washington Post that the agency is “making a claim that people with Delta [variant] who are vaccinated and unvaccinated have similar levels of viral load, but nobody knows what that means.”
“It’s meaningless unless we see the data,” he said.
Another expert questioned whether an increase in breakthrough cases of the virus could be attributed to the efficacy of the vaccine in the long term, rather than newer variants.
“If we’re seeing more breakthroughs, is it just because the virus is better and the vaccines don’t hold up quite as well, or is the efficacy of the vaccines beginning to wane, independent of the Delta [variant]?” Robert Wachter, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, asked the Post. “This is three-dimensional chess, there’s a hundred things going on at the same time.”
Representatives for the CDC didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.