CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who previously said vaccinated people ‘don’t get sick,’ tests positive a month after getting booster shot

News & Politics

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday night.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that Walensky was experiencing mild symptoms and was resting at home. Walensky will participate in CDC meetings virtually.

Reuters reported that Walensky was not at the White House at the end of this week and had not met in person with any senior U.S. officials before testing positive for COVID-19.

Walensky attended the World Health Summit in Berlin on Monday and Tuesday – where the CDC director wore a mask at all times except when eating or publicly speaking, according to a spokesperson. Walensky returned to the United States on Wednesday.

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The CDC statement said that Walensky was “up to date” with her vaccines.

The U.S. health agency defines “up to date” as: “If you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC.”

The CDC guidance adds, “You are still up to date if you receive all COVID-19 vaccine doses recommended for you and then become ill with COVID-19. You do not need to be immediately revaccinated or receive an additional booster.”

Exactly a month ago, Walensky received the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine – which is said to provide protection against the original COVID-19 strain and the Omicron variant.

In March 2021, Walensky declared that vaccinated people “don’t get sick.”

“Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick,” Walensky told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “And that it’s not just in the clinical trials, it’s also in real-world data.”

Days after Walensky made the comments, the CDC walked the director’s remarks back.

“It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get COVID-19,” a CDC spokesperson told the New York Times. “The evidence isn’t clear whether they can spread the virus to others. We are continuing to evaluate the evidence.”

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