CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky admitted April 19 that individuals who have received COVID-19 shots can get, and transmit, the virus. The comment, which came during her Congressional testimony, is a reversal of her previous statements in 2021 that vaccinated people “do not carry the virus” and “do not get sick.”
“We’ve had an evolution of science and an evolution of the virus,” Walensky told a congressional committee in Washington, adding that the statement “is no longer correct with the Omicron subvariants that we have right now.”
Walensky also attempted to say her original claim claim was also true.
“Was that statement correct?” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) asked.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky tells Congress that vaccinated individuals can, in fact, spread COVID, contrary to her earlier statements, attributing this change to “an evolution of science.”pic.twitter.com/5IWYEfJ0lu
— Michael P Senger (@michaelpsenger) April 19, 2023
“At the time it was,” Walensky claimed. “It was a wildtype virus that we had, it was even before the Alpha variant, it was the initial wildtype variant, and all the data at the time suggested that people who were vaccinated, even if they got sick, couldn’t transmit the virus to anyone else.”
“What we know is the vaccines are very substantially effective against infection—there’s more and more data on that—but nothing is 100 percent,” John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, told the New York Times back then.
“It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get COVID-19. The evidence isn’t clear whether they can spread the virus to others,” the CDC said at the time.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which authorized the vaccines, said when authorizing them that the clinical trials did not test transmission and has maintained that stance to the present day.
Just two weeks after Walensky’s initial statement, made during an appearance on MSNBC, the CDC said some 5,800 Americans had contracted COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, with 74 dying. The CDC later stopped counting so-called breakthrough infections as the numbers soared. Data has shown that vaccine protection wanes considerably after several months and starts low against the current Omicron subvariants, with some papers estimating vaccinated people are more likely to become infected over time.
The medical community is now moving away from calling the covid regimen of shots a “vaccine” preferring instead to describe it as a treatment to lessen symptoms, rather than prevent, Covid-19.