On Thursday, the Washington Post published a leaked internal report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning of mass community spread of COVID-19 among vaccinated people and calling on the Biden administration to stop discouraging mask wearing and social distancing.
The secret report contradicts nearly every public statement by the White House over the course of the past two months. Bringing together a broad range of public research—including some that was previously unpublished—the report warns that there are 35,000 symptomatic COVID-19 infections every week among vaccinated people.
The report states that vaccinated people who are infected with COVID-19 are just as infectious as those who are unvaccinated. It acknowledges that the so-called Delta variant of COVID-19 is more infectious than the common cold and, in fact, one of the most transmissible diseases known to man.
The document refutes President Joe Biden’s claim on July 22 that vaccinated people cannot be infected with COVID-19—“You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.”
For months, Biden has used the claim that vaccinated people are fully protected from COVID-19 to justify the abandonment of masking and social distancing requirements, despite the fact that the CDC had access to data definitively proving the opposite. “Take your mask off, you’ve earned the right,” Biden said in June.
On May 13, the CDC reversed its guidance on mask-wearing, urging vaccinated people to stop wearing masks and socially distancing in crowded areas.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky declared in May.
The CDC’s statements prompted the near-total abandonment of mask-wearing in the United States. Within days, businesses stopped enforcing mask mandates, while the vaccinated public, misinformed by the CDC, went maskless in public and reduced social distancing.
The deliberate promotion of false advice by US health authorities helped drive a massive resurgence of the pandemic, with cases now surging 50 percent per week.
In the leaked report, CDC scientists call for an urgent reversal of this catastrophic guidance, declaring in bold, “universal masking is essential to reduce transmission of the Delta variant.”
The document further calls for “community mitigation strategies” and non-pharmaceutical interventions, which are “needed to reduce transmission of Delta variant”—such as the closure of non-essential businesses and schools.
In response to the leaked memo, the Biden administration made clear that it has ruled out serious measures to contain the disease. “We are not going to head towards a lockdown,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday.
It is unclear how the internal CDC document was leaked to the Washington Post. It remains the case, however, that it was not released by the CDC or Biden administration, and the CDC declined to comment on its publication to the Post—indicating that its leadership opposed its release to the public.
The media’s framing of the report was largely misleading. The report was presented by NBC Nightly News as “new findings from the CDC,” without mentioning that the document was leaked without the CDC or White House’s permission. Its findings were presented as unforeseen and surprising, completely ignoring the fact that most of the report’s conclusions were well-known beforehand.
Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, who has for months been raising the alarm about the Delta variant of COVID-19, including in an interview with the World Socialist Web Site in May, responded to the CDC report by detailing, point by point, how the main findings had been known for months.
Noting a study from Public Health England and Public Health Scotland that found the Delta variant was nearly three times as dangerous as the Alpha variant, Feigl-Ding asked, “What’s the date of the report? June 3rd 2021!!! That’s ~2 months ago!”
“We have long known vaccinated transmit,” Feigl-Ding wrote, pointing to a tweet from nearly a month ago in which he showed research from Singapore demonstrating community spread among vaccinated people. He wrote at the time, “This demonstrates why vaccinated people still need to mask up damnit!”
He continued, “Oh cmon, when should CDC have known? The data from Singapore Ministry of Health was all freely accessible online and updated **daily**… and you can see the above graph’s vaccine breakthrough #DeltaVariant cluster was already apparent by mid June!!”
Feigl-Ding continued, “why didn’t we know about breakthrough infections causing transmission earlier? Was the CDC lying or neglectful & derelict in their duty to monitor? Let’s rewind to May 2021— @CDCgov decided to stop collecting & investigating mild breakthroughs!”
Feigl-Ding also noted that on June 26, epidemiologist Larry Brilliant had explained that “the Delta variant is more transmissible than smallpox.”
In the article breaking the story, the Washington Post quoted an unnamed CDC official calling for the full publication of the data in the report, “Waiting even days to publish the data could result in needless suffering and as public health professionals we cannot accept that.”
In May 2020, the ousted US health official Rick Bright filed a whistleblower complaint making clear that “public health officials were fully aware of the emerging threat of COVID-19 by early January 2020,” despite the Trump administration’s efforts to downplay the dangers posed by the pandemic.
Future whistleblowers will show the CDC knew almost everything in the newly released report months ago, based on the publicly available data cited by Feigl-Ding and the World Socialist Web Site.
More than two months ago, on May 23, the WSWS published a perspective titled, “Abandonment of health measures threatens US COVID-19 resurgence.”
We wrote at the time:
The reduction of COVID-19 cases in the United States is the outcome of mass vaccination that came about as a result of an unprecedented effort by scientists and academic institutions to create a whole new class of vaccines in record time.
In a rational society, the reduction of COVID-19 cases would be used to strengthen protections ahead of what public health experts warn will be a new resurgence in the fall. But the Biden administration is squandering what health officials call a temporary reprieve to abandon measures to monitor and contain the disease.
We warned that the continued abandonment of public health measures will mean “the disease that has already killed nearly a million people in US will take the lives of countless others.”
The Biden administration had access to the fundamental conclusions of the CDC’s report when it called for the end of masking and social distancing in May, just like the World Socialist Web Site did when we warned these actions would lead to a surge of the pandemic. Biden administration officials knowingly and with criminal intent encouraged measures that they knew would lead to a resurgence of the pandemic, which now threatens to kill hundreds of thousands more people.
Millions of people voted for Biden believing his pledge that he would “follow the science” in confronting the pandemic. As the WSWS warned, the Senator from DuPont and the credit card companies has not followed the science, but the interests of Wall Street.