Just a few hours after the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s vaccine for children, the Senate Health Committee called a hearing. The hearing saw Senate Republicans firing remarks at Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s Director, Rochelle Walensky.
A majority of the Senate Republicans grilled her on CDC’S increasing guidelines to wear masks and practice other measures, arguing it’s exasperating as more and more Americans get vaccinated each day. When asked what she would tell parents wanting to get their children vaccinated, Walensky stated her plan of encouraging parents to move a step forward and let the children take that jab.
She acknowledged that some parents want to see how events unfold before making a decision about getting their child vaccinated. Regardless, she encouraged “all children to be vaccinated,” as that is the correct thing to do.
Despite Rochelle Walensky’s conviction, the hearing soon took a different turn when various Republicans questioned the integrity of the CDC’s guidelines. This included the likes of Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who declared that she “used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC.” However, her confidence in CDC’s policies has just evaporated over time, said Collins.
Collins cited three examples including the reopening of schools with strict guidelines; the over-exaggeration in threats of outdoor transmission; and stringent restrictions on summer camps, as policies that have continued to “undermine public confidence” in CDC’s recommendations. Consequently, Rochelle Walensky was forced to defend the decisions of the CDC, which she claimed were developed with the intention of making America safer.
She responded to Collin’s remark of the restrictions placed for the reopening of schools, pointing out the inherent need to protect immunocompromised populations. Moreover, the CDC’S decision regarding summer camps only intends to safeguard the health of children. Walensky made a personal reference to her own son, saying how “he counts the days to summer camp each year.” The only purpose of the camp guidelines to “get the children to camp and allow them to stay there,” affirmed the CDC director.
The frustrations of Susan Collins were soon shared by Sen Republican Bill Cassidy, who expressed sheer annoyance with the CDC’s ever-changing policies. However, Democratic Chris Murphy came to Rochelle Walensky’s rescue, saying the CDC director and other experts are just working day and night post-Trump-era, which was dominated by false statements about the virus.
Murphy commended the leaders and experts from the CDC who are only revising policies to ensure the people of the country are safe. He went on to say the frustration is shared by many alike, but it primarily stems from the fact that the coronavirus is still something that the world is only ‘beginning to understand.’