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Conclusion: The statement was made in error and she retracted her statement, Dr. Faucci claims there is significant evidence to suggest asymptomatic transmission is indeed significant.

 

Situation Overview:

“it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual”

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Where: it was during a Q&A. This wasn't a prepared statement. They have these ~45 minute Q&As 3x a week.

Who: the technical lead on the pandemic. This is not a media rep or someone highly trained in media relations. If they're doing 3x weekly Q&As with the media, they're bound to say something that can be twisted.

Source:

A top World Health Organization official clarified on Tuesday that scientists have not determined yet how frequently people with asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 pass the disease on to others, a day after suggesting that such spread is “very rare.”

The clarification comes after the WHO’s original comments incited strong pushback from outside public health experts, who suggested the agency had erred, or at least miscommunicated, when it said people who didn’t show symptoms were unlikely to spread the virus.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the Covid-19 pandemic, made it very clear Tuesday that the actual rates of asymptomatic transmission aren’t yet known.

“The majority of transmission that we know about is that people who have symptoms transmit the virus to other people through infectious droplets,” Van Kerkhove said. “But there are a subset of people who don’t develop symptoms, and to truly understand how many people don’t have symptoms, we don’t actually have that answer yet.”

Van Kerkhove’s remarks on Tuesday came at a WHO question-and-answer session aimed at explaining what was known and unknown about how the virus spreads.

Article #2 (Source):

During a Wednesday interview on "Good Morning America," Fauci noted the WHO has “walked that back because there’s no evidence to indicate that’s the case,” and added there is plenty of evidence to suggest asymptomatic spread is indeed significant.

“The evidence we have given the percentage of people, which is about 25% to 45%, of the totality of infected people likely are without symptoms,” he said. “And we know from epidemiological studies that they can transmit to someone who is uninfected even when they are without symptoms.”

The comment was made by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit. She later called her remarks a "misunderstanding."

“I was responding to a question at the press conference," she said. "I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that. I was just trying to articulate what we know. And in that, I used the phrase ‘very rare,’ and I think that that’s a misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare. I was referring to a small subset of studies.”

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