by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Philip Klein of National Review Online pans a federal agency’s latest pronouncement on wearing masks outdoors.
There was a lot of buildup toward the CDC’s announcement relaxing the guidance on the wearing of masks outdoors. The results are now in, and they are a joke.
Per the Washington Post, the CDC now says that “fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks outdoors when walking, jogging or biking outdoors, or dining with friends at outdoor restaurants.”
But this isn’t the only deliverance the pezzonovante at the CDC are bestowing upon us.
The CDC says that “even unvaccinated individuals may go without masks when walking, jogging or biking outdoors with household members.”
But for those hoping this new guidance means you might be able to attend a baseball game without wearing a mask, I have disappointing news. Our moral betters at the CDC “caution that crowded outdoor settings still pose risks and urge everyone — both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals — to wear masks when attending sporting events, live performances and parades.”
To be clear, the science was overwhelming last year that the risk of outdoor transmission of COVID-19 was low to non-existent. Anybody following the science should have never felt compelled to wear a mask outdoors during the pandemic.
Furthermore, somebody who is fully vaccinated is at minimal risk of catching COVID-19 indoors or outdoors. Earlier this month, the CDC itself reported that out of a universe of 66 million individuals who were vaccinated at the time, just 5,800 got the virus. That’s less than 1-in-10,000.
The idea that the CDC, even in loosening outdoor mask guidance, is still insisting that vaccinated people wear masks in crowded outdoor settings is completely unmoored from science or reason. This is a bungling agency that has made one mistake after another throughout the pandemic. …
… [T]he problem is that state and local officials as well as private business often defer to CDC guidance.