by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
When Fox News’ Peter Doocy questioned the reasoning behind the updated CDC guidance recommending vaccinated people resume mask-wearing in some instances during a press conference on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki deferred to the authority of the public health officials in the Biden administration without offering a scientific explanation.
“Because the public health leaders in our administration have made the determination based on data- that is a way to make sure they are protected, their loved ones are protected, and that’s an extra step given the transmissibility of the virus,” Psaki countered.
The CDC is expected to soon release updated guidance recommending that some vaccinated individuals — as well as everyone in K-12 schools from students to teachers — continue the practice of wearing face coverings in indoor settings, a reversal from a May announcement that relaxed such requirements.
Some Republicans have suggested that the whiplash created by contradictory advisories could make vaccine-hesitant people skeptical of the shot’s efficacy. The CDC’s revised guidelines presumably are a reaction to recent outbreaks of the highly-infectious COVID delta variant across the country.
Scientific consensus has dictated that the vaccinated are supposed to be generally immune from the disease regardless of other people’s decision to get inoculated. However, federal officials have considered changing mask guidance = because of a recent rise in “breakthrough” infections, or positive COVID cases in vaccinated individuals that may exhibit very mild symptoms but still transmit the virus to others, CNN reported Monday. …
… When asked about where Biden’s previous optimistic outlook for defeating COVID in the United States went, the press secretary clarified that the president was referring to “a different strain of the virus,” suggesting that the delta variant is rolling back some of the herd immunity progress the administration hoped to achieve.