Biden aides defend controversial Covid mask-wearing guidance change

Biden aides defend controversial Covid mask guidance change
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Source: REX/Shutterstock
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Daily US Times: This week’s surprise reversal of mask-wearing guidance for those who got Covid-19 vaccine was a “foundational first step” towards returning the US to normal, Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) head insisted on Sunday, as the agency continued to draw criticism for the sudden and confusing advice.

On Sunday, Dr Rochelle Walensky appeared on several talk shows to stress it was up to individuals whether to follow the guidance issued on Thursday.

Walensky said in one of the talk shows: “This was not permission to shed masks for everybody, everywhere. This was really [a] science-driven individual assessment of your risk.”

The CDC head said that they are asking people to be honest with themselves. If they got vaccine against Covid-19 and they are not wearing a mask, they are safe. If they aren’t vaccinated and they are not wearing a mask, they are not safe.

A growing number of health experts have questioned the new mask-wearing guidance, which reversed the CDC position that even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors, and came 48 hours after Walensky was assailed in Congress on the issue.

A number of mostly Republican-controlled states have subsequently said they are modifying their mask mandates and several large businesses, including Starbucks and Walmart, have dropped them altogether.

The US’ largest nurses union suggested on Saturday the CDC advice about wering mask was not based on science and said any relaxation of protective health measures would place patients and caregivers at risk.

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