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CDC director defends new mask guidance saying science ‘evolved’

Rochelle Walensky
Greg Nash

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky defended the new mask guidance by the agency on Sunday, citing an evolution in science. 

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Walensky told host Martha Raddatz that as recently as two weeks ago, vaccines have proved to be effective enough to not require those who are fully vaccinated to have to wear face coverings.

“We now have science that has really just evolved even in the last two weeks that demonstrates that these vaccines are safe, they are effective,” Walensky told Raddatz. “They are working in a population just as they did in the clinical trials that they are working against our variants that we have here circulating in the United States.” 

Walensky also told Raddatz that with the latest guidelines, unvaccinated people should still follow mask guidance and that the new recommendation did not mean there should be a “widespread removal of masks.”  

Walensky added that it might take some time for people to adjust to the new guidelines and that decisions on mask wearing would be made on the local level. 

“We also need to say that this is not permission for widespread removal of masks. For those who are vaccinated, it may take some time for them to feel comfortable removing their masks, but also that these decisions have to be made at the jurisdictional level, at the community level. Some communities have been hit harder than others, have lowered vaccination rates than others.” Walensky said. “We want to deliver the science of the individual level, but we also understand that these decisions have to be made at the community level.”

Tags CDC guidlines Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC Rochelle Walensky

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