FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s top health department doctor addressed recent statements by a member of the World Health Organization and urged Kentuckians to listen to more than one voice.

What You Need To Know

  • WHO clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of COVID-19

  • Kentucky's Commissioner of Public Health responds

  • Beshear administration continuing with phased reopening

On Tuesday, Maria van Kerkhove, Ph.D., COVID Technical Lead for the World Health Organization (WHO), clarified statements she had made the day before at a press conference. When asked about asymptomatic carriers, Jewell had said that while it is possible for those without symptoms to transmit the virus, it was shown as “very rare” in a few isolated studies.

“I used the phrase ‘very rare,’ and I think that is misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission, globally, is very rare,” Jewell said at another press conference Tuesday. “What I was referring to was a subset of studies.”

Steven Stack, MD, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Public Health, responded to a question from Spectrum News 1 about the comments at Tuesday’s regular briefing with Governor Andy Beshear (D).

“I respect greatly the World Health Organization, the CDC, and all the other public health experts who are out there trying to help us navigate these uncertain waters,” Stack said from the podium. “I would not take one data point, one news story, and allow that to be expanded to mislead folks that this is not a dangerous disease that does not spread from person to person, because the evidence suggests that it does.”

The Beshear administration is sticking to its phased reopening plan. Monday marked the latest step of the plan. Museums, distilleries, aquariums, and some in-home child care services are among those allowed to reopen.