The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last Thursday that fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be “required” to wear a mask at most gatherings. The new guidelines have caused confusion and frustration on both sides of the aisle, leaving businesses and states to create their own plan going forward.
CDC: you can take your masks off— Grilled Cheese Surrealist (@Grilledmelt) May 16, 2021
Vaccinated public: *Takes mask off*
CDC: tsk tsk tsk, we didn’t say “CDC says” you’re out 😊 https://t.co/eemgzLc8kq
Many on the Left are critical of the guidance, arguing that without regulation, it now allows both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated to ditch their masks without repercussions. Top U.S. infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci noted, “I think people are misinterpreting, thinking that this [new mask guidance] is a removal of a mask mandate for everyone…It did not explicitly say that unvaccinated people should abandon their masks.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that despite the announcement, masks will still be required on the House floor.
“We couldn’t even trust people to do the right thing and wear masks when it was rampant, when it was the highest it’s ever been. It feels like somebody has pulled the rug out from under us and taken away our protections.”Deborah Burger, Co-President of National Nurses United
Spanish politician, lawyer, and columnist Alfons López Tena stated that the move should not have been made “without requiring proof of vaccination,” arguing that it will only increase “confusion,” delay or prevent vaccinations for some, and prevent herd immunity. David Michaels, former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the Obama administration, agreed that the guidance is “causing confusion and setting back our efforts to stop this pandemic.”
The Right believes the move is purely political and showcases the ridiculousness of the CDC and their inconsistencies. Conservative blogger and talk show host Ed Morrissey wrote, “This new guidance has nothing to do with changing scientific data, but is the result of political pressure being brought to bear on the CDC and White House to quit undermining vaccinations by pretending they don’t matter.”
“The CDC needs to answer for what exactly changed in the last 3 months allowing them to suddenly go from ‘masks’ to ‘no masks’ for vaccinated people, overnight, during Biden’s worst news week so far. The science didn’t change. It seems only the politics did.”Mark Meadows, former Trump administration White House Chief of Staff
TV host and political commentator John Cardillo stated, “The continued pushing of masks by Democrats even though the CDC has now backed off masks is ironclad proof that masks were always a political control device.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) noted the inconsistencies and exaggerations from the CDC over the past year and asked, “Why does this matter?…because it undermines public confidence in your recommendation, in the recommendations that do make sense, in the recommendations that Americans should be following.” Political columnist Joseph Curl, in response, added, “Really makes you wonder what else the CDC got wrong and is still getting wrong, doesn’t it?”