Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has denied accusations that the recent reversal on mask mandates was politically motivated, while Democrat lawmakers refuse to personally go along with it.
Walensky made the media rounds on Sunday, where she was confronted by accusations that the CDC’s new mask guidance – which states fully vaccinated people can cease social distancing and wearing masks in public – was a politically motivated decision.
During an appearance on Fox News, host Chris Wallace questioned the sudden reversal, noting that less than 24 hours before the announcement, Walensky and other health officials were “still making the case that people who are fully vaccinated needed to wear masks indoors.”
Walensky said she is “delivering the science as the science is delivered to the medical journals.”
“And, you know, it evolved over this last week, the cases came down over the last two weeks. And so that’s – I delivered it as soon as I can when we had that information available,” she added.
Walensky echoed her comments about timing in other interviews, but they have not stopped critics from accusing the mask mandate reversal of being a political move and a symbolic victory for the Biden administration as it deals with numerous crises.
Wow the science evolved in sync with several growing Biden WH scandals. Just incredible. Science truly is a wonder. https://t.co/WHoaQWagCL
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) May 16, 2021
Regardless of your politics, the willingness of public health officials to consistently and brazenly lie to you during a global pandemic should be a wake up call. https://t.co/Wu4yUMFVwL
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) May 16, 2021
Despite the new guidance, there are numerous exceptions to the rule, with many public buildings and businesses still requiring masks. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) announced after the new guidance that mask mandates for lawmakers and staff on the House floor would remain in place until everyone is vaccinated. Reports have suggested Democrat lawmakers are fully vaccinated, but Republican officials have not been as eager to get their doses.
Many vaccinated Democrats have also caused confusion among critics as they continue to be masked, despite being inoculated against Covid-19.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) and his staff exchanged heated words with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) after she confronted them about being masked in spite of their vaccinations and the new guidance.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) became the latest lawmaker to say she will continue masking up in indoor settings. She is also vaccinated.
“If you want to keep wearing your mask then do it,” she wrote on Instagram this weekend. “Personally I’m going to keep wearing my mask in shared indoor public spaces like elevators, subway, grocery store, etc.”
Ocasio-Cortez said that she and others need “time to adjust” to the new reality, but she will likely continue masking “overall from time to time if I feel like I might be coming down with something and don’t want to spread it.”
Numerous liberal activists have also made clear that wearing masks in public is going to be a permanent part of their lives going forward, including gun control advocate David Hogg, who made waves on social media after saying he would continue masking for safety and so people would think he’s a conservative.
Walensky, however, said on Sunday that vaccinated individuals are “safe” to drop the pandemic-era precautions, and it is only the unvaccinated that are at risk.
“If you are vaccinated, we are saying, you’re safe, you can take off your mask and you’re not at risk of severe disease or hospitalization from Covid-19,” she told Fox News. “If you’re not vaccinated, you are not safe; please go get vaccinated or continue to wear your mask.”
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