Health

Fauci Rebukes WHO on Asymptomatic Spread of COVID-19

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made it clear Wednesday that the World Health Organization’s assessment that COVID-19 transmission from an asymptomatic person to an uninfected person is rare “was not correct.”

Fauci, speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” said WHO needed to reassess its assertion saying evidence exists that shows between 25-45 percent of infected people likely are without symptoms.

“And we know from epidemiological studies they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they without symptoms,” Fauci said. “So to make a statement, to say that’s a rare event, was not correct.”

WHO scrambled Tuesday to clarify an organization expert’s comment that asymptomatic spread was “very rare,” stressing that the coronavirus can indeed be spread by people who show no symptoms.

One of WHO’s top epidemiology experts, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, in a statement Tuesday that her assessment that asymptomatic spread was “very rare” was based on specific studies that may not have gone through peer review, and that it does not reflect a change in WHO guidance.

While Van Kerkhove added that there is a wide range of mathematical modeling of asymptomatic spread, WHO estimates about 16 percent of people with the coronavirus never develop symptoms but may indeed be able to spread the virus.

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