For some a step back, for others a clarification, CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said people should be “honest with themselves” when wearing a mask after the new orientation of the agency announced last week.
Walensky made several appearances at Sunday morning’s talks to defend the agency’s new policy. On CNN State of the Union show, for example, said the honor system plays a role, so people protected by vaccination no longer have to wear a mask in most environments.
“How’s the honor system going?” Leanne M. Redman, a women’s health researcher in Baton Rouge, LA, asked Twitter on Monday. “Looks like they’re not masks in Louisiana.”
— Leanne M. Redman, PhD (@DrLeanneRedman) May 17, 2021
Walensky also appeared in Fox News Sunday explaining that the new orientation is based on the science that emerged in the previous two weeks: studies that support the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
The reduction in mask requirements only applies to fully vaccinated people. “For the unvaccinated, our policy has not changed,” he told ABC this week.
The new CDC guide surprised many. It also continues to generate multiple questions, especially on social media, about how recommendations should be developed in different scenarios and scenarios.
Emergency room doctor Megan Ranney, MD, tweeted that the announcement came earlier than expected. He had predicted that wearing a mask would not relax until the summer. “A couple of weeks ago, I suggested to @CNNOpinion that the CDC’s guidelines on masks would change in the early summer, as more Americans get vaccinated. (Because vaccines work wonderfully, period and end.) Today’s announcement is frankly faster than I expected. “
A couple weeks ago, I suggested on @CNNOpinion that CDC guidelines about masks would shift in early summer, as more Americans get vaccinated. (Because – vaccines work marvelously well, full stop.)
Today’s announcement is frankly sooner than I expected.
— Megan Ranney MD MPH 🗽 (@meganranney) May 14, 2021
Lawrence Gostin, of the World Health Organization Center on World Health Law, gave a strong opinion against CDC action. On Saturday, he tweeted that the move was “one of the CDC’s most serious mistakes” in recent memory.
New #maskoff guidance is one of CDC’s most serious errors in my memory. Yes, vaccinated individuals are safe w/o masks. But @CDCgov is a public health agency. It should have foreseen the impact on public behavior. #MasksOff will put 60% of the pop at risk. That’s not good ph
— Lawrence Gostin (@LawrenceGostin) May 15, 2021
Other health professionals and experts were fast to weigh both for and against the new orientation.
Whether or not to wear a mask remains an issue, even among those who are completely vaccinated. ET Mitra, a New York City gastrointestinal nurse, shared this concern on Twitter: “I saw too many horror stories of COVID-19 and still prefer to mask myself with strangers. If I decide to wear the mask inside. , people will think I’m anti-vax? “
As a fully vaccinated nurse in NYC, I saw too many COVID-19 horror stories and I still prefer to mask up around strangers. If I choose to wear my mask indoors are people going to think I’m anti-vax? #MaskOn #MasksOff #Vaccinated #COVID19 #nurse
— E T Mitra (@ET_Nurse) May 13, 2021
President Joe Biden supported the CDC move on Twitter, but acknowledged a problem with the timing. “If you are completely vaccinated, you can now go without masks in most environments,” he wrote. “But remember: it will take time for everyone who wants to get vaccinated to be shot and some vaccinated people prefer masks. So if you see someone with a mask, treat them kindly.”
If you're fully vaccinated, you can now go mask-less in most settings.
But remember: it’s going to take time for everyone who wants to get vaccinated to get their shots, and some vaccinated people prefer masks. So please, if you see someone with a mask, treat them with kindness. pic.twitter.com/IRcYe2El4e
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 15, 2021
The Society of Infectious Diseases of America (IDSA) responded Monday. The company supports the agency’s actions, but added, “The CDC recommendations should not send the message that the pandemic is over. Less than half of the U.S. population is fully immune.” , said society president Barbara D. Alexander, MD, and Rajesh T. Gandhi. , MD, president of the HIV Medical Association, wrote in a joint statement.
Even IDSA is looking for more answers. “Additional guidance is needed to clarify safe interactions in public spaces and workplaces when the status of vaccination is unknown,” the statement said.
Domestic traders also reacted to the CDC announcement over the weekend. Walmart, for example, issued a letter to all employees stating that they now have it two reasons be vaccinated against COVID-19. One is not having to wear masks to the workplace and another is a $ 75 incentive to get vaccinated. The maskless part of the policy also applies to fully vaccinated clients. Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and Target announced similar policies that loosened mask requirements for customers.
Saturday night live confused confusion over the new CDC guide, with cast member Kate McKinnon playing Anthony Fauci, MD. “Fauci” asked people like, “What does that mean?” What are you talking about? Is this a trap? “
There are exceptions to the new orientation. Masks continue to be recommended in schools for now, as most school-age children are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, Walensky said. People should also continue to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.