Delta variant more transmissible than previously believed, according to new CDC report

The delta variant of the coronavirus may be much more transmissible than originally believed.

The Centers for Disease Control published a report Friday, drawing on data from a July outbreak of COVID-19 in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. The data suggests a vaccinated person can infect others with the virus just as easily as an unvaccinated person can.

Prior to Friday's CDC report, versions of this information were circulated in an internal slide presentation shared within the Centers for Disease Control and obtained by the Washington Post and New York Times Thursday. 

The internal presentation called the delta variant as contagious as chickenpox, and the New York Times reported the documents stated that the delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu, and smallpox, the New York Times reports.

"Anyone who's not vaccinated and who did not have covid previously, the delta variant is so contagious that you're going to get it," Adm. Brett Giroir, the former Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary said on Fox's "America Reports."

The findings in the internal documents informed the CDC's masking guidelines announced on Tuesday, recommending that fully-vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor spaces and parts of the country where the virus is surging, the New York Times stated.

"The CDC came under a lot of criticism for issuing this guidance, but not giving the data behind it," Dr. John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus at UC Berkeley's school of public health, said. 

"He suggests the reason the data was released days after the new mask guidance was because "they needed to act because the data must have been compelling to the CDC."