The CDC is behind the curve when it comes to recommendations on how to be safe during this pandemic, as its latest anticlimactic recommendation shows.
On Tuesday, the CDC released widely anticipated guidance that said it was safe for people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus to stop wearing masks while gathering in small groups outside.
“Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before. Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do,” Walensky said. “Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”
The recommendation includes guidance that dining outdoors with people of multiple households is safe for those who have been vaccinated.
Most Americans already comfortable without masks outside
Less than half of Americans were wearing masks outside even as far back as August, according to a Gallup poll taken at that time.
A Morning Consult poll conducted in mid-April showed that 66% of Americans said they felt comfortable dining outside, even before the CDC changed its guidance and regardless of vaccination status. 55% said they felt comfortable even dining indoors in the poll.
Around 37% of Americans have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as of this week, and 51% have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.
These numbers make the CDC guidance a bit anticlimactic, as most of the revised guidelines have been of late.
Biden gives speech about CDC guidance maskless, outdoors
President Joe Biden nevertheless touted the adjusted CDC guidance as a reason to get vaccinated, and did so outdoors without a mask on.
“The bottom line is clear: If you’re vaccinated, you can do more things, more safely, both outdoors as well as indoors. So for those who haven’t gotten the vaccination yet — especially if you’re younger or thinking you don’t need it — this is another great reason to go get vaccinated,” Biden said.
Biden, who was vaccinated in January, came to the podium to make the remarks with a mask on, then took it off, telling reporters it was now okay with the CDC to do so.
For fully vaccinated people, the risk of death from coronavirus is next to nothing, a tiny fraction of a percent, according to statistics being kept on vaccinations. In reality, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to do just about anything they want to do, indoor or outdoors, and the CDC should really get up to speed about the risks at this point.