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CDC’s HICPAC Passes Draft Gutting Affected person Protections In opposition to Airborne Respiratory Viruses, Faces Problem at HHS Workplace of the Inspector Normal (and You Can Assist)


Nov 9, 2023


By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers who’ve been following our HICPAC journey (CDC’s Healthcare An infection Management Practices Advisory Committee) will likely be conscious that HICPAC has now dropped — apt phrase! — a draft model of the PowerPoint (“Isolation Precautions Guideline Workgroup“) offered on June 8; its title: “Healthcare Personnel Use of N95 Respirators or Medical/Surgical Masks for Safety In opposition to Respiratory Infections: A Systematic Overview and MetaAnalysis.” I want a brief title, so I’m going to make use of “Overview,” regardless that “Saggy Blues 4EVA” could be a extra correct alternative. This could shock nobody. As I wrote again in July, in my evaluation (“personnel is coverage”) of the composition of the Committee, this end result ought to shock nobody:

1. Not one of the hospitals with which the HICPAC members are affiliated have a coverage of common masking.

2. Although a few of the HICPAC members look not unfavorably on masking, and on airborne transmission typically, none might be characterised as advocates.

3. Favorability towards common masking, ideally with N95s, is inversely correlated with institutional clout; Mass Normal/Brighams vehemently opposed; the College of North Carolina and Barnes-Jewish persuadable.

4. The HICPAC committee members are within the nice place of with the ability to ratify as steering insurance policies that their establishments have already adopted (i.e., no common masking, let alongside common masking with N95s, going ahead). One may, certainly, go as far as to characterize the HICPAC assembly as theatre, have been there drama concerned in a clearly pre-determined end result[2].

In different phrases, the repair was in. That doesn’t imply that HICPAC’s train in stochastic eugenicism is a completed deal, or that it shouldn’t be opposed.

On this submit, I can’t placed on my yellow waders and do a detailed studying of “Overview,” a Gish Gallop which weighs in at a strong 80 pages. The important thing level right here is that the method by which “Overview” was “dropped” is fatally flawed. I’ll present these flaws at a excessive degree by presenting a pattern message that you simply ship to the HHS Workplace of the Inspector Normal (OIG) by cellphone. Then I’ll current the grievance introduced towards HICPAC to the OIG by the World Well being Community, which is able to present these flaws in better element. (The complete Grievance is embedded within the Appendix on the finish of this submit as a PDF file, together with its supporting materials.)

Methods to Name the HHS Inspector Normal

Alert reader SGD throws the next over the transom. This places the OIG grievance in brief type, and may offer you inspiration in your personal name:

In her public testimony on the HICPAC assembly this previous Friday (11/3), Kathleen Turturice [National Nurses United public supporter, here] gave the quantity for calling the Workplace of the Inspector Normal: 202/619-3148. Her testimony offers a short capsule of the Grievance, and if somebody has not but learn it, they will get the gist of it from what she mentioned.

If folks want to name the IG in help, they need to make an announcement in their very own phrases and you should definitely be courteous to whomever solutions the cellphone. I don’t need to inform folks what to say – it’s essential that they converse for themselves in their very own phrases, so please don’t quote me about what to say.

If I have been calling, I’d say one thing like this:

• “Please examine the grievance filed by World Well being Community this previous October 29. I’m very upset with what’s occurring at HICPAC. It appears like their membership violates the regulation. HICPAC doesn’t have the required variety of members and doesn’t have one aerosol skilled as a voting member. That makes them unable to adequately handle the issue of the aerosol transmission of Covid and illnesses prefer it. Please examine the grievance filed by World Well being Community this previous October 29.”

(The primary and final sentence duplicate to verify the gist will get written down.) I’m certain that there are various NC readers who can translate these options into their very own phrases — a few of them with credentials the OIG is bound to respect! And if any of you’re taking notes and need to share, be at liberty to ship them to me for a follow-up.

Notice that the HHS OIG has severe clout. From the About web page:

Since its 1976 institution, the Workplace of Inspector Normal (OIG) has been on the forefront of the Nation’s efforts to combat waste, fraud and abuse and to enhancing the effectivity of Medicare, Medicaid and greater than 100 different Division of Well being & Human Companies (HHS) packages. OIG is the biggest inspector common’s workplace within the Federal Authorities with roughly 1,650 personnel.


The Workplace of Inspector Normal (OIG) for the USA Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) is answerable for oversight of the USA Division of Well being and Human Service’s roughly $2.4 trillion portfolio of packages.

The Case In opposition to HICPAC within the Grievance to the Inspector Normal

I’m going to current massive chunks of the Grievance right here, helpfully highlighted in your perusal. I’m additionally going to intersperse them with some posts of my very own, as a result of [lambert preens] a smol avian creature informed me that my posts triggered some thought processes within the minds of the particular legal professionals who put the grievance collectively for World Well being Community (WHN).

The bold-face names:

Variety of Committee Members:

I have to admit that I missed this!

Composition of the Committee:

From [lambert preens] “CDC’s HICPAC Prepares to Violate the Letter and Spirit of the Federal Advisory Committee Act at Its August 22 Anti-Masks Teleconference“, after discussing GSA steering on the Membership Stability Plan:

It’s plain as day that HICPAC’s membership shouldn’t be “divergent” as FACA understands the time period; each considered one of its members is affiliated both with a hospital or a medical care facility. Conflicts apart, the controlling assumption can solely be that hospital employees don’t have anything to find out about an infection management from anybody exterior their milieu. Absolutely such psychological and ideological inbreeding is strictly what an open and clear course of seeks to forestall? (“Daylight is the perfect disinfectant,” as they are saying.) CDC has a complete institute, NIOSH, with experience in “respirators and masks.” Are we critically to consider that NIOSH has nothing to contribute to HICPAC on masking? Or air flow? Or coaching? Even when NIOSH doesn’t sit on the committee, why are they not invited consultants? Why on earth does HICPAC’s draft “Isolation Precautions Guideline Workgroup” deliverable (PDF), which is driving masking coverage and the an infection mannequin for HICPAC, not even point out NIOSH?

Data violations:

Additionally from [lambert, still preening] “CDC’s HICPAC Prepares to Violate the Letter and Spirit of the Federal Advisory Committee Act at Its August 22 Anti-Masks Teleconference“:

The place are the 2023 minutes? (To be honest, the CRO writes that the GSA’s FACA “steering doesn’t point out that assembly minutes should be revealed prematurely of the committee’s subsequent assembly date.” CDC says though HICPAC conferences could happen “as much as” 8 instances a yr, this yr (a minimum of in line with the Federal Register) the one earlier 2023 assembly — oddly; was there nothing to debate (in public?) — was on June 8. Absolutely 67 days is sufficient time for a big Federal company to organize assembly minutes?)


IANAL, so after all I forgot the treatments!

I convey these to your consideration not merely to preen, however to strengthen that Bare Capitalism does have impression, nevertheless surprising the trajectory, in the true world (and large ups to the WHN for submitting the grievance, and to the authorized beagles who drafted it). That is what blogs do, and what your help allows.


HICPAC’s “Overview” is an murderous abomination, an affliction for sufferers and hospital employees alike. From CNN, and it’s a pleasure to see protection of HICPAC transfer to the mainstream; I’m certain it’s the very last thing these goons need. On employees:

In July, NNU drafted a letter to CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen voicing its concern that the brand new pointers, if applied as drafted on the time, would considerably weaken protections for well being care employees. 1000’s of well being care employees died throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and others have been disabled by lengthy Covid.

NNU’s [Jane] Thomason fears that if [since] the brand new pointers stroll again protections for well being care employees, the US might see an analogous disaster throughout the subsequent pandemic.

“What they’re engaged on … it’s going to impression sufferers and well being care employees in so many various locations. It’s going to find out whether or not a few of them reside or die, fairly truthfully,” Thomason mentioned.

And sufferers:

Throughout public remark intervals on Thursday and Friday, HICPAC heard from a number of sufferers with lengthy Covid or circumstances that decrease their immune operate that they didn’t really feel protected accessing well being care as a result of they couldn’t make sure their suppliers would put on protecting masks when treating them.

Christine Braile mentioned she was commenting on behalf of her 16-year-old son, who has a situation that weakens his immunity known as main immune deficiency. She mentioned he’s now residing with lengthy Covid after catching the an infection from a house infusion nurse who didn’t masks correctly.

“Loosening the affected person protections for respiratory illnesses, particularly Covid will solely damage sufferers and additional decimate staffing ranges,” Braile informed the committee.

“I’m deeply afraid of being in a state of affairs the place avoiding well being care shouldn’t be an choice,” mentioned Seifer Almasy, who spoke as a member of the general public. He mentioned he was just lately in that state of affairs when he determined he couldn’t delay getting his up to date Covid-19 and influenza vaccines. He mentioned he made 34 cellphone calls and was on maintain for greater than 4 hours to discover a supplier that will put on an N95 whereas giving him his vaccines.

And on HICPAC’s institutional seize:

Dr. David Michaels, an epidemiologist and professor on the George Washington College College of Public Well being, mentioned the brand new pointers ought to have benefited from all of the information in regards to the transmission of respiratory infections gleaned throughout the pandemic. As an alternative, he mentioned, “that is going backwards.””I feel what’s occurred right here is the members of this committee got here to us with prejudgment on how an infection management must be utilized,” mentioned Michaels, who was a part of a gaggle of consultants that addressed HICPAC with its considerations in regards to the draft throughout an October listening session.

“This committee has no members who’ve experience in employee safety, or in aerosol science,” mentioned Michaels, who can be the previous head of the Occupational Security and Well being Administration. “And so their view of an infection management is a hospital-based view and hasn’t modified in many years.”

Yep. Make that decision. Let’s avoid wasting lives.


[1] See, e.g.


Right here is the World Well being Community Grievance:

FINAL PDF – Grievance of Gross Misconduct

Right here is the Proof and Evaluation in help of the grievance. Many hilarious moments!

FINAL PDF – Evaluation & Proof Re IG Grievance

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