by Thomas Catenacci
Progressives voiced their dismay following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Progressives and medical experts immediately criticized the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidelines, arguing that the alteration was extreme and would be harmful to certain parts of the population. Others said the new guidance is confusing and disincentivizes people to get vaccinated.
“The CDC has done an about-face that’s shockingly abrupt: it’s confusing & could actually disincentivize vaccines,” Dr. Leana Wen, a George Washington University public health professor, tweeted after the announcement Thursday.
“Yes, vaccinated people are well-protected and not a threat to others,” she said in a later tweet. “But do we trust that the honor system—won’t unvaccinated people pretend to be vaccinated & stop wearing masks?”
The new guidance might endanger people who cannot receive the vaccine like children and immunocompromised individuals, Wen, who is also a CNN medical analyst, wrote in a Washington Post editorial Friday. Instead, the CDC should’ve slowly changed its guidance over an extended period of time, she said.
“This is too risky in my opinion,” tweeted Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and Federation of American Scientists senior fellow, in response to the CDC announcement. “Asymptomatic transmission efficacy is only in the 70s-80s even for the best vaccines. Much lower for others and for some variants.”
Several other Twitter users criticized the decision and vowed to continue wearing masks despite being vaccinated. Others responded the the White House tweet about the new guidance, saying it “will get people sick” and that it was “foolhardy.”
I will continue to wear a mask in closed buildings and restaurants thank you 😷 👀 it's not an imposition on anyone else or doubting the CDC, it's just added caution pic.twitter.com/xBHgvMMdh2
— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) May 14, 2021
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), a union comprised of 1.3 million retail and food workers, condemned the announcement and said essential workers will be hurt by the guidance.
“Today’s CDC guidance is confusing and fails to consider how it will impact essential workers who face frequent exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks,” UFCW President Marc Perrone said in a statement.
“Millions of Americans are doing the right thing and getting vaccinated, but essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures,” he continued. “Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police?”
On Thursday afternoon, top White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced the new guidance during a press conference. Vaccinated people may return to most normal activities without wearing masks, according to the new guidance.
“We have a responsibility to make recommendations based on a body of evidence and what the science tells us,” CDC spokesperson Jade Fulce told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
“In the past couple of weeks, we have seen additional data to show (1) these vaccines work in the real world, (2) they stand up to the variants, and (3) vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus,” Fulce said. “We needed to take the time to review the full body of evidence to get this right, and that’s how we came to this decision.”
Fulce didn’t specifically cite any of the additional data referenced in his statement.
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Thomas Catenacci is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.