Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, defended a decision this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift its mask mandate for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the confusion it caused state and local health officials.
The agency updated its guidance on Thursday, saying it’s safe for fully vaccinated Americans to forgo social distancing and go most places – indoor or outdoor – without a mask, bringing to end more than a year of mandatory face coverings in most parts of the country. But some states, including Hawaii and Massachusetts, have insisted they will keep their mask mandates in place.
FULLY VACCINATED PEOPLE CAN DITCH MASKS INDOORS, PHYSICAL DISTANCING: CDC
“The underlying reason for the CDC doing this was just based on the evolution of the science,” Fauci said during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But if in fact this serves as an incentive for people to get vaccinated, all the better. I hope it does, actually.”
But the agency drew a sharp rebuke for its roundabout on the matter of face coverings; less than two months ago, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned of “impending doom” as COVID-19 cases began to rise again.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a face mask during a Senate Health, Edu
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