(CNN)Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday that people have to be honest with themselves when deciding whether to wear a mask after the agency lifted masking requirements for vaccinated people.
The CDC last week updated its guidance for people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to say they generally do not need to wear a mask, except in certain circumstances. The updated guidance also says people still need to wear masks if they’re unvaccinated, including people younger than 12.
“I think that people who were not inclined to wear a mask were not inclined to wear a mask before Thursday,” Walensky told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” when asked if she trusted that people would wear a mask if they were unvaccinated.
The timing of the update guidance from the CDC had caught some off guard and prompted a confusing rush in states to update their rules. Some states, including California, are ending their mask mandates as they prepare to fully reopen.
“What we’re really asking in those settings, is to say, in terms of the honor system, people have to be honest with themselves,” Walensky said. “You’re protected if you’re vaccinated, you’re not if you’re not vaccinated.”
White House officials had been anticipating the CDC would soon make changes, but many believed it would take the agency until later this month to decide on the new recommendations.
Walensky, who during a Senate hearing last week cautioned Americans to continue measures such as masking and handwashing, defended the agency’s decision to update its mask guidance and said it was not a result of political pressure.
“It certainly would’ve been easier if the science had evolved a week earlier, and I didn’t have to go to Congress making those statements but I’m delivering the science as the science is delivered to the medical journals and, you kn
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