Late last month, the CDC came under further scrutiny, in this case regarding their updated mask guidance. It turned out that one of the studies they’d used to justify their guidance had not been peer-reviewed and was based on a COVID19 vaccine that had not been used in the U.S.

Well, would you believe that some Republican members of Congress zeroed in on that? Reps. Elise Stefanik, Kevin McCarthy, and Dan Crenshaw were among those raising red flags about the CDC’s apparently dubiously sourced mask guidance.

And Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler is not about to let them get away with that:

“The GOP’s attack.” Republicans Pounce™ on the CDC for using an insufficiently vetted study as a basis for their mask guidance for the United States!

Here’s how Kessler’s fact-check concludes:

Stefanik sets a high bar during a pandemic to suggest that all studies used for policymaking should be peer reviewed. McCarthy also cited the fact that the paper was not peer-reviewed. Crenshaw noted that the paper was initially rejected under peer review, which turns out to be correct.

To some extent, it’s a matter of opinion about whether scientific studies that have not yet been approved for publication should inform policymaking. The CDC presumably reviews the data and makes its own assessment, just like any peer reviewer. But the agency invites pointed questions when it unveils a new policy without disclosing rock-solid data to support it.

Given this issue involves a mix of opinion and legitimate disputes about scientific research, we will leave these statements unrated.

In other words, Stefanik, McCarthy, and Crenshaw’s criticisms of the CDC were valid and warranted, because the CDC pretty clearly screwed up. So was it an “attack,” Glenn? Or justified pushback against an agency that’s been assigned far too much power and credibility with far too little solid scientific ground to stand on?

Oh yeah, Kessler himself followed up his initial “GOP’s attack” tweet by with another highlighting the flawed study and the CDC’s ill advised embrace of it:

And after all that, the best Kessler can do is leave “the GOP’s attack” unrated? Pathetic. And so very, very on-brand.