Report: WH officials sent back ‘overly prescriptive’ CDC reopening guidelines
UPDATED 5:50 PM PT — Thursday, May 7, 2020
The White House has chosen to go in a different direction than the CDC when it comes to reopening the economy. According to an unidentified task force member, the administration felt the CDC wanted “overly specific and prescriptive” regulations put into place, which officials flagged as a “slippery slope.”
Officials also felt the guide was a blanket approach to a more layered situation. The task force member noted “states are experiencing various circumstances throughout the country” and that “guidance in rural Tennessee shouldn’t be the same guidance for urban New York City.”
The 17-page CDC document has since been shelved. White House officials reportedly said it was never even approved by CDC leadership in the first place.
The guidance included reopening policies for mass transit, daycare centers, summer camps, churches and restaurants. It called for precautions such as cancelling all school field trips, limiting in-person church services and installing sneeze guards at restaurants.
It aimed to be an extension of the president’s own guidelines, which were issued back in April. Moving forward, the administration has reportedly sent the document back and asked the CDC to make revisions.
On Thursday, Counselor Kellyanne Conway further expanded on why these guidelines were rejected by the White House. She stressed that it’s not a “one size fits all” situation to safely get businesses back up and running.
Conway emphasized it’s important for all Americans to follow CDC guidelines, like wearing masks, social distancing and practicing good hygiene.
However, she added it’s up to governors to determine exactly what kind of guidelines best fit the needs of their state.
“Actually, Florida as an example because Governor DeSantis was here. He’s got a very long state geographically. He had some pretty hard hit counties in this southern part of the state. And he’s got other places, hundreds and hundreds of miles away from those hard hit, outbreak ridden state counties that have sort of flattened or are on a downward trajectory.” – Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President
According to the counselor, governors are in regular communication with the CDC as they reopen their states.