Has The CDC Removed The Covid-19 Pandemic Classification?
A recent viral Facebook post claims that the CDC has removed mentions of the “COVID-19 Pandemic” and replaced it with “Covid-19 Outbreak” on the CDC website. The post then goes on to conclude that CDC never declared COVID-19 a pandemic in the first place. The post has over a thousand shares currently.
Firstly, we will examine the claim that the CDC has removed mention of “pandemic” from their official website. This is false as several pages on the website still use this term to refer to the disease, such as these pages that were last updated as recently on September 8 and September 10.
Secondly, the CDC has used "outbreak" concerning the disease since at least January 2020. Archived versions of the CDC homepage from January 18 mention how CDC closely monitored the novel coronavirus in China. The CDC still uses the same terminology on its homepage as of the writing of this piece.
According to the CDC’s definitions, an epidemic is defined to be an increase in the number of cases above what is expected for a population in an area. An outbreak has the same definition as an epidemic but refers to a more limited geographical area. And a pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread to several countries or continents. Hence, the terms are not necessarily mutually exclusive when used to refer to diseases as claimed by the original post.
The CDC has also clarified the nuances of the terminology used in epidemiological classification about the coronavirus.
Thirdly, the claim that there was “no pandemic in the first place” is categorically false. The WHO designated COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020 and has not changed it since that time. Currently, the CDC continues to work closely with the WHO to manage the pandemic globally.