• Shorter guidelines for reopening America during coronavirus pandemic released by CDC
  • White House previously shelved longer version because they were “overly specific”
  • CDC Director Robert Redfield believes that the U.S. is ready to reopen

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of guidelines for reopening the United States amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines are a trimmed down version of the 68-page set previously shelved by the White House.

The new guidance, now 60 pages long, still offers a descriptive roadmap for opening schools, restaurants, public transit and child care facilities.

The original document reportedly was shelved by the White House after the coronavirus task force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, complained the rules were “overly specific” and would slow the reopening process.

The final version of the document was released amid increasing tensions between the White House and CDC officials. Dr. Deborah Brix, a senior member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, reportedly made it clear in recent meetings she was frustrated with the agency.

Brix reportedly said the CDC had delays in reporting what she called inaccurate coronavirus data because it had antiquated data gathering techniques.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, told The Hill he believed the U.S. was ready to reopen while acknowledging contact tracing needs to expand to prevent further outbreaks.

“I want to clarify that the community-based transmission, the community-to-community transmission that overwhelmed the public health departments in late February, March, April -- that's really coming down,” Redfield said.

He acknowledged that the public health infrastructure needs an estimated $3 trillion to $6 trillion investment, but added: “It's a small price to pay finally, once and for all to stop talking about building the public health infrastructure this nation needs and, more importantly deserves.”

The guidelines include instructions to “intensify” cleaning, disinfection and ventilation in places of worship, education, public transorptation and workplaces before reopening. It also urges employers to train personnel on health safety protocols.

The guidelines also promoted a decision-making tool released by the CDC online that provides a step-by-step guidance on how employers and other officials should decide whether establishments could re-open.

Former CDC Acting Director Dr. Richard Besser criticized the guidelines, saying that the guidelines merely were “principles” people did not need.

“CDC is really good at [releasing specifics] when they’re allowed to do it,” Bresser told CNN.