CDC Pressured by White House to Change COVID-19 Testing Guidelines

On August 24, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised its guidelines on when individuals should be tested for COVID-19. The guidelines previously recommended that "all close contacts" of individuals who are known to have COVID-19 be tested. However, on August 24, the CDC reversed course and stated that testing may not be required for close contacts who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19, unless they are medically vulnerable or local public health officials recommend they be tested.

Two federal health officials told the Washington Post that the CDC was pressured to make the revisions by "higher-ups at the White House and Department of Health and Human Services" (HHS). HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir denied the claims, telling reporters that the revisions were made by the CDC, with input from members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.