Critics erupt after CDC's Walensky refers to 'pregnant people' in vaccine tweet

Media top headlines August 12

In media news today, female viewers turn off ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ in droves, MSNBC’s Joy Reid says DeSantis and Republicans are ‘killing children’ with COVID polices, and Brian Stelter gets roasted by critics after his interview with Stephen Colbert

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director (CDC) Rochelle Walensky came under fire Thursday for using the phrase “pregnant people” while recommending women getting the highly effective COVID-19 vaccine. 

“The rise in cases, vaccine hesitancy, and the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant people make vaccination against #COVID19 more urgent than ever. Read why @CDCgov recommends that pregnant people should be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Walensky tweeted, with a link to the CDC website.

“I’ve never met a man tough enough to survive pregnancy and childbirth,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. told Fox News. “The recent movement to erase women is disturbing, and has made its way into our bureaucracy.”

“Every single ‘pregnant person’ is a woman. Always, forever, and unconditionally. I’m not playing along,” “Relatable” podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted. Stuckey was briefly suspended from Twitter last week for saying a transgender female Olympic athlete who was born male was “still a man.”

Other critics wondered what authority the CDC had to lead on science when theirs seemed to be so flawed.

The CDC has reported there are severe risks to pregnant women and their unborn children if they contract COVID-19, while they’ve found no increased risk of miscarriage for women who get vaccinated.

The CDC has been ripped as of late for issuing confusing guidance throughout the pandemic. Last month, people of all political stripes were outraged after the agency revised its mask guidance to announce that fully vaccinated individuals should return to wearing one indoors and there should be universal masking in schools in light of the spread of the delta variant.

The CDC previously advised masks be worn indoors by all individuals ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated and stated that those who are fully vaccinated didn’t need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting. Walensky said at the time the agency didn’t take the reversal lightly.

“This new data weighs heavily on me, this new guidance weighs heavily on me,” she said. “And I just wanted to convey that this is not a decision that was taken lightly.”

Liberal comedian Bill Maher was among the critics who called the CDC’s decision making “confusing” and questioned whether it was justified by science.

“So now we’re back to wearing the mask from the front of the restaurant until the waiter brings the breadsticks,” Maher said on his HBO program. “It’s called science, people! Sometimes I think we have to cover our faces so other people can cover their a–.”

This week, the agency faced backlash for botching case numbers in Florida. The CDC initially reported 28,317 new cases on Sunday, while the state health department said there were 15,319 cases. The CDC agreed to revise the number to 19,000 after reportedly rolling several days’ worth of numbers into one. Hospitalizations rose by more than 1,100 on Tuesday.

“It is very important that data is accurate,” Florida Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Shamarial Roberson said on “Fox News Primetime.” “The people of Florida – they deserve it. We’ve been putting out accurate data since the beginning of the pandemic.”

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