This is rich: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held its annual conference last week — which was naturally focused on fighting COVID-19 — and the event turned into a COVID-19 superspreader.
The four-day conference, which was held in an Atlanta hotel and hosted about 2,000 attendees, was held in person for the first time in four years. By day three, at least one person at the confab had tested positive for the dreaded virus. On the fourth day, “conference leaders publicly announced the potential cases in the closing session of the conference, canceled an in-person training, emailed all officers with current CDC guidance and offered to extend the hotel stays of sick attendees who needed to isolate,” according to the Washington Post, which quoted an email from CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund.
In a Friday article hilariously entitled “CDC meeting, intended to mark covid progress, sees virus cases of its own,” the Post provided the schadenfreudelicious details. For starters, the conference was specifically for the CDC’s “epidemic intelligence service officers [EID] — the disease detectives deployed to identify and fight outbreaks” — the CDC’s own COVID-fighting elite, in other words. And there’s more from this rich vein of irony among the people who spent the past three years presuming to tell us how to avoid the scary virus:
Among the presentations were more than a dozen sessions on the lessons from fighting covid, including “How Far We Have Come: A COVID-19 Surveillance System Evaluation,” a session that discussed improvements on tracking the virus. …
“We haven’t had the conference in four years, so we’re really excited to have our current officers and our alumni back,” Eric Pevzner, head of the service, said in a video earlier this week. “This is the place where our disease detectives are showcasing their work.” …
In posts on social media, conference attendees were unmasked as they gathered in person. Some CDC staffers and alumni opted to attend virtually, worried about covid risks, according to people with knowledge of the event
And now we know how that turned out — among people who were doubtless “vaccinated and boosted” up to their eyeballs, yet.
As of Tuesday, 35 attendees had tested positive, CDC spokes Nordlund told The Hill:
“CDC is working with the Georgia Department of Health to conduct a rapid epidemiological assessment of confirmed COVID-19 cases that appear to be connected to the 2023 EIS Conference to determine transmission patterns in this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nordlund said.
“Whenever there are large gatherings, especially indoors, such as at a conference, there is the possibility of COVID-19 spread, even in periods of low community spread,” she added.
The Hill notes that current COVID-19 infection rates are considered to be low both in Fulton County, Ga., (where the conference was held) and across the nation. That the gubmint experts tasked with tracking and fighting the virus — and dictating our freedoms to us — were able to muster up enough infection to create their own outbreak under these low-risk conditions speaks volumes.