The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should have updated its guidelines for cleaning household surfaces long before this week, said the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
“It’s incredibly disappointing,” Dr. Ashish Ja told CNBC Shepard Smith News. “I think I started saying last April and May, many of us in public health, stop wiping surfaces.”
“I don’t really understand what it took the CDC so long to make it really clear. This virus is spreading through the air,”
The CDC said Monday that a thorough soap and water scrub is sufficient to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the home. However, the use of disinfectants is recommended in closed schools and homes where the virus is suspected or confirmed within 24 hours.
“In most situations, regular cleaning of surfaces with soap and detergent, not necessarily disinfection of these surfaces, is sufficient to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky at a briefing in White house on Monday.
Ja noted that the CDC’s public health reports are part of a larger model of bad news from the government when it comes to Covid.
“I would say the first few months were confusing, but by April, May last year, it was very clear that it was in the air,” Ja said. “It’s disappointing that this doesn’t always come out consistently from our federal officials.”
The CDC did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Host Shepard Smith also asked Ja about the highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 after Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, warned on Sunday that the variant could infect children more easily than previous strains.
Ja said he was “concerned” about option B.1.1.7 in children, especially because they have not yet been vaccinated.
“We don’t see a lot of infections in older people because we vaccinate them, and that really makes young adults and children vulnerable to B.1.1.7,” Ja said. “One of the reasons we can’t relax completely right now is that we really need to reduce the number of infections.”
Each state in the country has reported at least one case of option B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the UK, according to CDC data. Valenski said on Wednesday that the option is becoming the predominant Covid strain in many regions of the United States