LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.
July 27, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced that the CDC is now recommending that the fully vaccinated mask indoors in places with high COVID-19 spread.
“To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission,” reads the updated CDC guidance for the fully vaccinated.
A CDC coronavirus transmission tracker color-codes areas of the United States according to CDC reports of their COVID-19 transmission. Texas and Florida, as well as much of the South, are indicated to have high transmission rates. The Northeast and Upper Midwest are shown as having low rates of viral spread.
Walensky also “made a plea for schools to encourage masking,” reported KHOU 11, that included recommendations that all students, staff, and school visitors mask indoors.
On Sunday, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN that mask guidance changes were “under active consideration.”
Just days earlier, Fauci told CNBC that U.S. officials were concerned about an apparent increase in breakthrough COVID-19 infections in the fully vaccinated. He laid the blame on the Delta variant of the virus, arguing that it spreads more easily than previous variants.
“This virus is clearly different than the viruses and the variants that we’ve had experience with before. It has an extraordinary capability of transmitting from person to person,” said Fauci.
A senior White House official echoed this explanation after the CDC reversed its mask guidance, saying, “It's based on the fact that the Delta variant is clearly more transmissible than the prior ones.”
CNN reported that a “separate health official” said “the overwhelming majority of spread is still by unvaccinated people,” according to the latest data. “But they know breakthrough cases can happen and emerging data suggests some vaccinated people can spread it, which is the driving factor behind Tuesday's decision,” said CNN.
However, data reportedly show that transmission rates are relatively high even among the vaccinated. CNBC reported that “Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is just 39% effective in Israel,” attributing the poor level of protection to the delta variant.
The Israeli data they used maintains, however, that two doses of these vaccines are 88% effective against hospitalization and 91% effective against “severe illness.”
Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, told USA TODAY that there isn’t much justification for the revised mask guidance.
“There isn’t a whole lot of benefit that’s going to be felt by this … We have good data that vaccinated people don’t spread COVID as efficiently as unvaccinated people,” said Cioe-Peña.
According to USA Today, Cioe-Peña “suspects the new recommendations may be more successful in getting unvaccinated Americans to wear masks in public and empowering businesses and schools to implement mask mandates without requiring proof of vaccination.”
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor and infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, believes “this gives more of an opportunity for local health departments to not look as though they’re doing something different than what the CDC is suggesting.”
Fauci seized upon the delta variant narrative to push harder for mass vaccination.
“Viruses don’t mutate unless you allow them to replicate and spread in the community, you give them ample time and ample opportunity to mutate and you got a new variant,” Fauci told CNBC last week.
“The easiest and best and most effective way that we can prevent the emergence of a new variant and crush the already existing delta variant is to get everyone vaccinated,” he concluded.