The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline change Monday about aerosolized transmission of coronavirus was not the result of political pressure, according to a federal official familiar with the situation.
“This was totally the CDC’s doing,” the official said. “It was posted by mistake. It wasn’t ready to be posted.”
The official said the guideline change was published without first being thoroughly reviewed by CDC experts.
“Somebody hit the button and shouldn’t have,” the official said.
The official added that the guidance is “getting revised,” but didn’t say when the revision would be posted to the CDC’s website.
What the guidance says: The guidance pertains to the way the novel coronavirus is spread. While it’s known it can spread by droplets directly between people standing less than 6 feet apart, there’s been some debate about whether the virus can suspend in aerosolized particles in the air and transmit to people further than 6 feet away.
The agency tried to further clarity what it meant by aerosol transmission, the official said.
“It can occur, but it’s not the way the virus is primarily being transmitted,” the official said.
But in the effort to say that, it was written in such a way “that it’s being understood to mean it’s more transmissible than we thought, which is not the case.”
The source said the guidance that was posted by mistake on Friday wasn’t noticed over the weekend, and CDC became aware of it Monday through reporters’ calls.