Critics demanded answers from CDC director Rochelle Walensky Sunday after she hedged on how many of the COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. were directly due to the virus and how many were individuals who died with COVID-19 yet had underlying conditions.
“Do you know how many of the 836,000 deaths in the U.S. linked to COVID are from COVID or how many are with COVID, but they had other comorbidities? Do you have that breakdown?” Bret Baier asked Walensky on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Yes of course with omicron we’re following that very carefully,” Walensky responded. “Our death registry of course takes a few weeks…to collect. And of course omicron has just been with us for a few weeks. But those data will be forthcoming.”
Her answer only frustrated critics of the Biden White House who have been asking about that distinction about COVID-related deaths for quite some time.
“The CDC has managed to take the title of most inept, useless, corrupt 3 letter agency in the federal government, which is a pretty damn impressive achievement,” radio host Buck Sexton tweeted.
“A shatteringly bad outing outside of the protected zone of friendly cable TV nets,” Rasmussen Reports said in its review.
Others wanted to know when the data would be released, seeing as the data has been seemingly used to justify nationwide lockdowns and more stringent measures.
Walensky and the CDC have come under fire in recent weeks for releasing confusing guidance on the coronavirus. Most recently, the agency cut the length of its recommended quarantine time for infected patients from 10 days to five. Those who are infected are now instructed to isolate for just five days, followed by five days of wearing a mask around other people. The CDC has also sent mixed messaging in terms of the efficacy of rapid antigen testing and on the wearing of masks.
The U.S. has experienced a record-breaking uptick in COVID cases in recent weeks following the introduction of the omicron variant, leading to hours-long lines for Americans trying to get tested.