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Why America Doesn’t Trust the CDC

People don't trust the CDC. Here's one example illustrating why. Two weeks ago, with no outcomes data on COVID-19 booster shots for 5-to-11-year-olds, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vigorously recommended the booster for all 24 million American children in that age group. The CDC cited a small Pfizer study of 140 children that showed boosters elevated their antibody levels—an outcome known to be transitory.

When that study concluded, a Pfizer spokesperson said it did not determine the efficacy of the booster in the 5-to-11-year-olds. But that didn't matter to the CDC. Seemingly hoping for a different answer, the agency put the matter before its own kangaroo court of curated experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

I listened to the meeting, and couldn't believe what I heard. At times, the committee members sounded like a group of marketing executives. Dr. Beth Bell of the University of Washington said "what we really need to do is to be as consistent and clear and simple as possible," pointing out that the committee needed "a consistent recommendation which is simple."