Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Marty Makary called out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Biden appointee Rochelle Walensky as "the most political CDC in history," after recent guidance has led critics to question whether the agency was following science or political pressure in their recommendations.
Makary, a Fox News contributor, told "The Story" on Monday that many people in the U.S. have taken the latest order suggesting vaccinated people can go out and about without a mask as "back to normal."
"We achieved the thresholds that we wanted to achieve. Where people debated herd immunity is in the definition: If you go to the John Hopkins COVID information website that's been up the entire pandemic, it says very clearly that herd immunity is when a majority of the population have been inoculated. That's where we are," he said.
Host Martha MacCallum noted that until recently, Facebook and other mediums' fact-checking apparatus labeled Makary's and others' previous predictions that a shift toward "normal" would come in Spring or Summer 2021 as "missing context" or false.
Makary responded that indeed the announcement by the CDC on Friday seemed "rushed."
"People are looking at this saying ‘are they responding politically or was this planned?’ I think this has been the most political CDC in history.
"They parade around ‘science’ but most of this is discretion. It's not science," he said of the CDC's recommendations.
MacCallum noted that public premonitions about herd immunity from months ago are bearing out, despite aforementioned fact-checkers or critics.
"You have said all along that more people had COVID than realized it … so what we're seeing now is exactly what you said we would be seeing: With a certain number of people vaccinated and way more people that realized that they had it, the virus starts running into walls; it can't find people to go into."
Later in the segment, media critic Joe Concha noted the timing of Walensky's announcement, even as the White House reportedly is scrambling to clarify the apparent about-face on masks.
"When you have a gas crisis going on in the southern states … the Middle East on fire in Israel and Gaza -- when you have a border catastrophe going on … when inflation is a very real fear for Americans, this announcement last week, it's hard not to argue that there weren't politics in play when the data wasn't supporting the move, to [Makary's] point earlier."
NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said as recently as March that the masking requirements shouldn't be rescinded until at least much later in the timeline of the pandemic.