The CDC walked back comments from its director suggesting that vaccinated people couldn’t ‘carry the virus’

Walenski CDC US
r. Rochelle Walensky, now director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), removes her mask to speak as Joe Biden announces nominees and appointees to serve on his health and coronavirus response teams during a news conference at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 8, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The Center for Disease Prevention and Control on Thursday distanced itself from comments made by its director Rochelle Walensky, who earlier in the week suggested that vaccinated people do not carry the COVID-19 virus.

A CDC spokesperson told The New York Times that Walensky "spoke broadly" and that the evidence to support her claim "isn't clear."

"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. We are continuing to evaluate the evidence," the spokesperson added.

During an MSNBC interview with Rachel Maddow on Monday, Walensky said: "Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don't get sick, and that it's not just in the clinical trials, but it's also in real-world data."

Criticism brewed in the scientific community after Walensky's suggestion.

A day prior to the MSNBC interview, the CDC released new data suggesting that people who have been fully vaccinated almost never carry COVID-19. Walensky referenced the data during the interview.

The CDC's study released Monday specifically reported that one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine registered at least 80% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 infection, and the full two doses showed a 90% effectiveness.

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