March 4, 2021

Echoing Expert Findings, Congressional Leaders Urge Biden Administration to Update COVID-19 Guidance

A group of congressional leaders has written a letter (PDF) to the Biden administration urging CDC and OSHA to address the aerosol transmission of COVID-19, in keeping with findings by infectious disease, aerosol science, and occupational health experts. The letter expresses concern that CDC’s existing guidance does not reflect experts’ current understanding of transmission and therefore does not adequately protect workers from exposure.

The letter from congressional leaders refers to an earlier letter (PDF) to the administration from 13 health experts, which also called for an update to CDC guidelines in recognition of aerosol transmission, as well as the issuance of an OSHA emergency standard on COVID-19 and the use of the Defense Production Act to increase production of N95 filtering facepiece respirators. The members of Congress note that many studies demonstrate aerosol COVID-19 transmission and advise the Biden administration to adopt the experts’ recommendations.

“Unless CDC scientists have persuasive evidence that contradicts the evidence presented in the Experts’ Letter, CDC and OSHA should delineate the recommended measures that need to be taken to prevent aerosol exposure—especially in workplaces,” the letter reads.

The letter was signed by Reps. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor; Rosa L. DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee; Frank Pallone Jr., chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; James E. Clyburn, chair of the coronavirus crisis subcommittee; and Alma S. Adams, chair of the workforce protections subcommittee.

More information can be found in the news release by the House Education and Labor Committee. The Synergist covered the experts’ letter in further detail in an article published Feb. 18.