CDC now says ‘testing may be considered’ after critics callout new guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention faced backlash after saying that those without symptoms might not need a test, while several states are still ordering tests for anyone exposed.
2:32 | 08/28/20

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Transcript for CDC now says ‘testing may be considered’ after critics callout new guidelines
and to the coronavirus. A grim new milestone this evening. More than 180,000 American lives now lost. More than 1,000 Americans dying each day over the last three days. In Iowa, for one, a record number of new cases now, many of those cases young people. The governor closing all bars and counties in Iowa until September 20th. And tonight, after that sudden and controversial change from the CDC, they said, if you've been exposed to the virus but are asymptomatic, you no longer need to get tested, well, what the head of the CDC is now saying tonight, clearly sensing the confusion out there and in some cases, outrage over that change. Here's ABC's Steve osunsami at the CDC in Atlanta. Reporter: Despite a world of criticism, health officials at the CDC are doubling down on new testing guidelines from three days ago, when they quietly announced on their website that if you've been exposed but don't have symptoms, "You don't necessarily need a test" for covid-19 in most cases. This evening, the head of the CDC is responding to the fire and defending the decision, saying that, "Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test." Public health experts say it's enough to make your head spin. This shifting policy back and forth is undermining the credibility of the messages from the CDC and confusing people. Reporter: Several states that are finally seeing the good side of their covid numbers say they won't be listening to the CDC and will continue to order tests for anyone who is exposed, even if they have no symptoms. With respect to the CDC, no, that is not the policy guideline that we will embrace or adopt here in the state of California. Reporter: In a joint statement tonight, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut say they're not following these guidelines either. They accuse the administration of substituting "Sound science-based public health guidance with the president's misinformation," and say that it's widespread testing that has helped them reduce infections. The president is accused of ordering these new guidelines as a means of bringing down the total count of covid-19 infections in time for election day, which the white house says is just not true. A white house official does say that there is a backlog of tests that need to be processed. These new guidelines would mean fewer tests, which they say helps solve that problem. David? All right, but bottom line tonight, the CDC saying even if you are asymptomatic and have been near people who have it, you can still get tested. Just helping everyone at home. Thank you, Steve, again tonight. I know you are trying, too.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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