CDC reverses COVID-19 testing guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should get tested if they were in contact with someone with the virus.
3:03 | 09/19/20

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Transcript for CDC reverses COVID-19 testing guidance
it exists in your state. President trump bringing up his own time line for the coronavirus saying it's coming and soon. Much of this election will be a referendum on his handling of the pandemic. Today more than 198,000 lives have been lost, nearing the 200,000 mark. President trump saying today of an essential vaccine, quote, we essentially have it ready. But the president acknowledges today millions of Americans won't get it, according to the president, until next April. Here's Jonathan Karl tonight. Reporter: With Americans already lining up to vote and polls showing most disapprove of how he's handled coronavirus, president trump is banking on a vaccine to boost his campaign. We essentially have it. We will be announcing it fairly soon. Reporter: Most experts say a vaccine won't be widely available until next year, but president trump is giving the impression it's right around the corner. The administration will deliver it to the American people immediately. Distribution will begin within 24 hours. The president acknowledged most Americans won't be able to get the vaccine until April. Earlier this week, he lashed out when CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told congress it probably won't widely available until months later. Reporter: How is it that you don't trust your own experts? Do you think you know better than they do? Not all of them, no. No, I think I have -- yeah, in many cases, I do. Reporter: There are clear indications the white house has pressured the CDC to keep its statements about the virus in line with what the president says. Less than a month ago, the CDC put out guidance saying that even if you have been exposed to somebody with the virus, quote, you do not necessarily need a test if you don't have symptoms. Medical experts were puzzled. "The New York Times" reported the guidance was issued over the objection of the CDC's own scientists. And today, the CDC abruptly reversed itself, saying flatly, you need a test if you have been exposed to someone with covid-19. It's what CDC experts have been saying for months. So hard for people at home the track this along the way, but we're trying to help them out. Jon Karl with us live from the white house. Another major headline -- 46 days until the election. The president today announcing $13 billion in aid to Puerto Rico. Of course he's faced a lot of criticism for tis response to the devastation from Maria. You reported in the past, he complained in the past Puerto Rico was getting too much money. You heard you pressure him today why give $13 billion in aid. Reporter: This is an election conversion. Since hurricane Maria hit three years ago, the president complained congress allocated too much money to help Puerto Rico recover from the hurricane. He even tweeted last year, all their local politicians do is complain and ask for more money, so why the $13 billion announcement today? Recent polls have shown the Puerto rican vote in must-win Florida is going to be crucial. Yes, many of those American citizens now in Florida.

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

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