Are the new CDC mask-wearing guidelines correct?


Fact Box

  • As of Thursday, April 29, 2021, there have been 32.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 588.3 thousand reported deaths. 
  • According to the CDC, 234,639,414 COVID vaccines have been administered to the US population. Almost half of the population has at least one dose, while 29.5% are fully vaccinated. Close to 90% of those 65 and older have one dose while 68% are completely vaccinated.
  • On Tuesday, April 27, the CDC eased guidelines on mask-wearing, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t have to wear masks unless they are in large crowds or in indoor public settings. Both parties can “walk, run, roll, or bike” outdoors with household members.
  • Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director said, “Today, I hope, is a day when we can take another step back to the normalcy of before.” 
  • Some are saying the guidelines are not enough and “confusing.” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, mentioned the goal should be to protect vulnerable populations like “nursing homes, day-care settings, and trying to prevent superspreading events.”

Morgan (Yes)

The new CDC mask guidelines specifically state 'people who have been fully vaccinated and have waited at least two weeks after their last shot do not need to wear masks outdoors when alone, with members of their household or in small gatherings. They may also forgo masks indoors with other fully vaccinated people, or with unvaccinated people from one other household unless someone in the group is at heightened risk from COVID-19'. This is accounting for the fact that, even if you are vaccinated, you can still infect an unvaccinated person. As long as the new guidelines are followed entirely, they will still keep people safe. 

The mask guidelines still recommend masks in large gatherings and when indoors around others who are not vaccinated. Given these new guidelines, this means there is no increased risk for those not yet vaccinated as long as Americans follow the guidelines in their entirety. 

Life is returning back to normal, and the new mask guidelines are reflecting that. Thanks to the vaccine, those who get it can go without a mask without fear of becoming infected and can be around those who are also vaccinated without infecting them. The new guidelines affect vaccinated people, which will encourage even more Americans to get the vaccine so they can forgo masks. As President Biden says, 'Go get the shot. It's never been easier.' The new guidelines will still save lives, and they will also ensure that our country remains on track to return to 'normal' as soon as possible.

Bill (No)

The new CDC mask guidelines are in keeping with its confused, arbitrary, non-scientific, and harmful guidance the organization has provided since the outset of America's COVID-19 saga. Even prominent liberal and 'The Daily Show' host, Trever Noah, unloaded on the confusing nature of the mixed messaging over the masks and vaccines. The CDC mask-wearing chart is itself nearly unreadable and seems to undercut the messaging that vaccine efficacy is 95% by still requiring vaccinated people to continue masking and social distancing.

The CDC's new mask guidelines for fully vaccinated people are arbitrary, non-sensical, pseudo-science. One noteworthy example of the CDC's hypocrisy run amok is this gem: 'Take precautions in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask.' Why on earth should people get vaccinated if they must still wear a mask? And which type of mask is the best choice to protect from COVID-19 particulates? And what constitutes a 'well-fitted mask? The CDC goes on to caution that 'Visits to indoor settings especially with poor ventilation' can increase risk. So, Americans must now gauge the HVAC capabilities of indoor spaces they intend to enter? How can anyone take the CDC seriously with their ridiculous guidelines that don't have a shred of scientific evidence supporting them?

Perhaps the most egregious example of the CDC's malfeasance was its failure to declare that not everyone is at equal risk of harm from COVID (despite overwhelming evidence supporting that conclusion). Children have virtually no risk from COVID even if they test positive for it. Children's immune systems have a 99.97% to 100% chance of keeping them safe from COVID. The science around mask-wearing to prevent the spread and contraction of COVID is scanty at best, as one March 2021 Danish study concluded that masks are not 100% effective in COVID prevention.

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