It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point why so many Americans no longer take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seriously.
That feeling will only grow stronger after Tuesday when, according to The Hill, the government agency reversed course on guidance from just a few months ago, now urging Americans to mask up — no matter their vaccination status — in areas of the country considered by the agency as “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission.
As The Hill noted, those particular areas, as defined by the CDC, include a vast portion of both the West and the South.
Why another flip-flop?
It was as recent as May of this year that the CDC finally issued guidance that allowed vaccinated individuals to toss the masks, which was not unexpected, given that the entire point of the vaccine was to mitigate the spread of the virus and allow Americans to get back to a sense of normalcy.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky was quick to defend the agency’s controversial new guidance, citing concerns of the delta variant of COVID-19, which apparently is not only significantly more contagious, but can also be transmitted by vaccinated persons.
“This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations,” Walensky said on Tuesday.
While many question the purpose of receiving the vaccine, at this point, the CDC has continued its message that while the vaccines obviously do not offer 100% protection, the latest data says that vaccinated people experience far fewer complications and milder symptoms if they catch the virus.
Federal health officials have indicated that vaccinated Americans still represent “a very small amount of transmission,” CNBC noted.
Schools are included
Setting up for yet another round of COVID-19-related controversies, the CDC also indicated in their new guidance update that the agency recommends all children in all schools wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
“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,” the agency said, adding, “including teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.”
CNBC also noted that health officials believe states with lower vaccination rates are especially susceptible to the delta variant of the virus. St. Louis, Missouri, where vaccination rates are lower than much of the country, issued a city and county-wide mask mandate on Monday.
While most of us were under the impression that vaccines would ultimately put COVID-19 on the backburner, unfortunately, it appears as if we’re in for a very long and frustrating rest of the year as new mandates and potentially new lockdowns are announced.