CDC director defends vaccinated people not needing masks

CDC director defends vaccinated people not needing masks

May 18, 2021: -CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the agency’s decision to tell people completely vaccinated against Covid-19. They can go without a mask, as state and local officials said.

“We are asking people to be honest with themselves; If they are vaccinated, and they are not wearing a mask, they are safe. If they are not vaccinated, and they are not wearing a mask, they are not safe,” Walensky said.

The recommendation of the CDC has created some confusion because it does not lift local mask mandates. States, municipalities, and businesses can choose whether to follow or not. There’s also no definitive way to track who has received a vaccine, forcing firms to work on a sort of honor system.

“This was not permitted to shed masks for everybody everywhere. This was science-driven, individual assessment of your risk,” Walensky said on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on Thursday, saying it’s safe for completely vaccinated Americans to remove their masks in most settings, whether outside or indoors. The first time the federal government has encouraged ditching covers, and it marks a significant turning point for the pandemic.

Masks are still necessary on planes, buses, and public transportation. White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed the guidance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“There’s been an accumulation of data showing the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines,” Fauci says. “It’s, even more, better than in the clinical trials, above 90% protecting you from the disease.”

“Even though there are breakthrough infections with vaccinated people, almost always the people are asymptomatic, and the level of virus is so low, it makes it extremely unlikely, not impossible but very low likelihood they are going to transmit it,” Fauci said.

Officials from New York and California, two of the hardest-hit states, are reviewing the CDC’s changes and have not given guidance currently, meaning mandates are still in place.

Some retailers, which include Target, Gap, Home Depot, and Ulta Beauty, have also said they’ll keep pandemic protocols in place.

Fauci said the CDC would be coming out in the next couple of weeks with more clarification on when masks are appropriate.

According to the CDC, as of Friday, above 156 million Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. According to the agency, about 121 million are fully vaccinated.

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