Insiders have claimed that top Biden administration officials are in talks about whether the Centers for Disease Control should alter its face mask guidelines in light of the Delta variant. The change, should one happen, may require fully vaccinated adults to resume wearing face masks indoors, though the White House is allegedly aware that such a change could come with its own repercussions.
The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is spreading widely throughout the United States. Though the vaccine is readily available to the majority of people, a significant percentage of adults still aren’t vaccinated — and these same people comprise the majority of new hospitalizations and deaths involving the virus.
In light of the variant’s spread, the top officials in the Biden administration are conducting “preliminary conversations” about a possible CDC face mask guidance change involving vaccinated individuals. Specifically, the insiders claim there are talks about whether the guidance should be changed to once again require vaccinated people to wear face masks when indoors, such as at grocery stores and movie theaters.
The claim comes from CNN, which cites “multiple sources” said to have knowledge about the alleged talks. These conversations reportedly include what kind of message the White House should be giving the public regarding mask use and whether the CDC should offer new guidance — though ultimately any guidance changes will be up to the CDC to decide.
The CDC removed its face mask guidance (in most cases) for vaccinated individuals earlier this summer. Though unvaccinated people are still supposed to wear masks indoors, many criticized the decision over concerns that unvaccinated adults will also stop wearing masks, effectively bringing mask use to an end.
Though a vaccinated adult is largely protected from the virus, young kids are still unvaccinated and may face greater exposure to the virus when school resumes. Concerns about this prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that students over the age of two wear face masks when school (and preschool) starts again next month.
Per the report, the CDC is reconsidering its face mask guidance behind closed doors while acknowledging that reversal of its loosened restrictions could be a big issue for public morale going forward. The insiders suggest these talks are still in the early stages and that it’s too soon to say what kind of decisions may be made.