According to details, the head of CDC, facing blowback over the agency’s new liberalized mask guidelines, offered a stark reassurance on Sunday.
“I think that people who were not inclined to wear a mask were not inclined to wear a mask before Thursday,” Walensky told CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union.
“If you are vaccinated, we are saying you are safe, you can take up your mask and you are not at risk of severe disease or hospitalization from Covid-19,” the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, said on Fox News Sunday.”
“If you are not vaccinated, you are not safe. Please go get vaccinated or continue to wear your mask.”
“What we’re really asking in those settings, is to say, in terms of the honor system, people have to be honest with themselves,” Walensky said. “You’re protected if you’re vaccinated, you’re not if you’re not vaccinated.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, somewhat confusingly, says they are aware of 223 people who have died with covid after being vaccinated.
"Not all of those 223 cases who had covid actually died of covid. They may have had mild disease but died, for example, of a heart attack." pic.twitter.com/KmjbrXnd1k
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 16, 2021
The guidance the CDC issued on Thursday said that it was no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people to mask or maintain social distance in many settings. The change set off public confusion and drew objections from some local officials and labor unions, including the country’s largest union of registered nurses.
On Saturday, the CDC recommended the continued, universal use of masks and physical distancing in schools. “Our school guidance to complete the school year will not change,” Dr. Walensky said adding that the agency would work over the summer to update its school guidance for the fall.
“I want to convey that we are not saying that everybody has to take off their mask if they’re vaccinated,” Walensky said. “It’s been 16 months that we’ve been telling people to mask and this is going to be a slow process.”