Internal CDC document confirms delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox

The 25-page CDC presentation highlights the growing concerns around the delta variant as approximately half of the country remains unvaccinated.

This week, the Washington Post obtained an internal document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reveals the delta variant is as transmissible as chickenpox.

According to the report released Thursday evening, the 25-page CDC presentation highlights the growing concerns around the variant as approximately half of the country remains unvaccinated.

“The document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold,” notes the Post.

Technology giants Netflix, Facebook and Google are requiring all its employees who are returning to work in their offices to be fully vaccinated.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The internal correspondence also outlines “next steps” for the agency, including the need to acknowledge “the war has changed,” and more aggressive messaging to help the general public understand the risks that remain even when vaccinated.

“I finished reading it significantly more concerned than when I began,” Robert Wachter, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, wrote in an email to the publication.

A federal health official also shared that the data and studies included in the document played a major role in the current call to action for everyone — vaccinated or not — to wear masks both indoors and in public settings.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky privately briefed members of Congress on Thursday about the document and a source confirmed that the data will be published in its entirety on Friday.

“Although it’s rare, we believe that at an individual level, vaccinated people may spread the virus, which is why we updated our recommendation,” explained the anonymous federal health official, who is not authorized to speak on the matter publicly. “Waiting even days to publish the data could result in needless suffering and as public health professionals we cannot accept that.”

A syringe being filled with the AstraZeneca. (Photo by Robert Barca/Getty Images)

How the delta variant affects us

As we previously reported, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Healthcare (MLKCH), one of Los Angeles’ leading medical institutions, released data on July 19 via Facebook showing that Black Americans are being hit harder by the virus than other communities, and encouraged all unvaccinated individuals to visit their local clinic.

Per their findings, Black Americans account for 51% of all new COVID-19 cases and the delta variant has made up 51% of new cases in LA County in the past eight weeks. 42% of all new cases have been from members of Latinx/Hispanic communities.

Their data also shows a rapid increase in delta variant cases since May. According to their research, 38% of all new cases in the state of California resulted from the delta variant in June, a large jump from just 5.6% of new cases in May.

Dr. Elaine Batchlor, president and CEO of MLKCH said it is more important now than ever to get vaccinated, especially within the Black community.

“If you’ve been waiting to get your COVID vaccine, now is the time to stop waiting and do it. COVID  vaccines are powerful weapons to protect yourself and prevent the continued spread of COVID in our community, including the delta variant,” Batchlor said. 

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