May 14, 2020 - Health

CDC posts revised reopening guidelines after White House intervention

Robert Redfield

CDC director Robert Redfield. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six new one-page tools on Thursday that advise businesses, restaurants and bars, schools, camps, child care centers and mass transit systems on how to safely reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The White House coronavirus task force asked the CDC to revise a more extensive set of guidelines that the agency had prepared more than a month ago, believing it was "overly prescriptive," an administration official told Axios' Alayna Treene.

Early versions of the documents included detailed guidance for churches and religious institutions, which the White House requested to be taken out, according to AP.

  • The episode underscores the political sensitivity of President Trump's push to reopen the country, which comes amid warnings from some health officials that opening up too soon could cause a resurgence in cases.
  • Anthony Fauci, a key member of the task force, testified Wednesday that the "consequences could be really serious" for states and cities that reopen without meeting federal guidelines.

The big picture: An administration official told Axios that President Trump's guidelines for reopening, which were released last month, "made clear that each state should open up in a safe and responsible way based on the data and response efforts in those individual states."

  • "Guidance in rural Tennessee shouldn’t be the same guidance for urban New York City," the official said.

Go deeper: White House coronavirus task force asked CDC to revise reopening guidelines

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