Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that the return of local masks due to the spread of the delta version of COVID-19 “makes great sense,” but stopped short of saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention needs current guidance regarding masks. Should be reversed- wear for people who have been vaccinated.
“CDC’s general guidelines still hold that if you’ve actually been vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask indoors,” the White House’s chief medical adviser told LBL’ Neil Cavuto.
“But what is very clear is that at the local level, as it was in the trenches,” Fauci said, “you are looking at individual situations where the level of infection is so high and the level of vaccination can be low in the community. . … and I think we are seeing this and will see more and more because we are certainly seeing an increase in cases of the delta variant, which now dominates this country … so it is quite understandable That’s why local officials are now saying, ‘It’s good you’ve been vaccinated, but in situations where people are indoors, especially crowded, you should wear a mask.'”
On Monday, St. Louis will become the latest major metropolitan area to require masks in some places regardless of vaccination status. The St. Louis mandate applies to city and county residents who are five years of age and older and are required to wear a face covering on public transportation and in indoor public settings, such as move theaters and concert venues.
Los Angeles and Las Vegas established similar mandates earlier this month, while Philadelphia officials said this week that they “strongly recommend” that people wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
There has been some setback from the mandate’s withdrawal, with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva saying his representative would not enforce the county’s requirement. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to reintroduce an indoor mask mandate, saying it would distract from the city’s vaccination push.
De Blasio’s criticism has been echoed by others, who say unvaccinated Americans will be less likely to get the shot if they are forced to wear masks and take other precautions from the height of the pandemic.
“I don’t think it’s really necessary, because getting vaccinated isn’t just that you don’t need to wear a mask,” Fauci said on Friday.
“Getting vaccinated is to protect your health, that of your family and community, and when I say community, I mean not allowing the spread of infection or allowing yourself, perhaps unintentionally and innocently, to be a vector. Or allowing one to be a carrier of the virus to someone else.”
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said “99.5 percent” of current COVID-19 deaths are unrelated patients.
“So getting vaccinated isn’t just about whether you have to wear a mask or not wear a mask,” Fauci reiterated. “It has a much more serious relationship than that, and it’s keeping you healthy enough that you don’t wind up in the hospital and you don’t end up dead. Because if you look at the statistics, they’re pretty fascinating.
According to the CDC, 162.4 million Americans are thought to be fully vaccinated against COVID, which is slightly more than 57 percent of the eligible population.