Tuesday, July 27, 2021

CDC Reverses Indoor-Mask Rules, U.S. May Mandate Vaccines For All Federal Workers

CDC Reverses Indoor-Mask Rules, Biden Mulls Mandating Vaccines For Federal Workers, Threatens Lockdowns


Update (1600ET): President Biden delivered an address Tuesday to the US intelligence community, but afterwards he was peppered with questions about the national COVID effort by reporters. While he mocked and ridiculed everyone who hasn't gotten the vaccine yet, he told reporters that the White House is weighing a requirement for federal workers. "If you haven't gotten the vaccine by now then you're not nearly as smart as I thought."

Biden added that if people get vaccinated and wear masks, it will help avoid lockdowns. 

But of course that's not true. In reality, measures like the new mask guidance are more likely a prelude to ordering another lockdown, with all the stimulus and federal, Fed-backstopped money printing to convince voters that their only hope is to stick with the Democrats through the midterms...and beyond.

Update (1510ET): As expected, CDC Director Rachel Walensky announced Tuesday afternoon that because not enough Americans got the vaccine, those who did will now be asked once again to wear masks in public. While the vast majority of transmission is occurring via unvaccinated individuals, the CDC admitted that some vaccinated people might experience "breakthrough" infection. Conveniently, she said the changes are the result of "new science".

"As you have heard from me previously, this pandemic continues to pose a serious threat to the health of all Americans,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on a call. "Today, we have new science related to the Delta area that requires us to update the guidance regarding what you can do when you are fully vaccinated."

This "new data" show that the delta variant behaves "uniquely" compared with past strains.

"In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor setting to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and protect others. This includes schools,” Walensky said. The CDC recommends that everyone grade schools wear masks indoors, “including teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status."

Walensky said new data shows the variant behaves “uniquely differently from past strains of the virus,” indicating that some some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant “may be contagious and spread the virus to others."

While the pandemic remains mostly a "pandemic of the unvaccinated", the CDC is asking people in virus 'hot spots' (like NYC and LA) to wear masks while they're out in public.

She added that the CDC is "absolutely evaluating breakthrough infections across the country."

We can't help but wonder: if these breakthrough infections are so rare, then why do people need to wear a mask?

Consider, for a moment, the findings from this landmark Danish study. The peer-reviewed study involving 6K participants  found that "there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19," per the Spectator. 

To be sure, the CDC's guidance is only a "recommendation", whether to enforce it will be left up to local authorities and businesses. Ironically, in the mostly red states where vaccination levels are lowest, state legislatures have passed laws preventing authorities from forcing students and teachers to be vaccinated and wear masks unless COVID case numbers reach emergency levels.

And as a reminder, despite what Walensky has said, deaths in the US have hardly budged.

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