Last year, Americans were first told that masks were a waste of time and money. They were then told that masks save lives. The confusing messaging led to at least somewhat of a revolt against the idea altogether, as far as millions of Americans were concerned.
Over a year later, when COVID-19 was supposed to be a thing of the past, or at least nowhere near as serious as it was, the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the virus is now prompting President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Tony Fauci, to consider the possibility of a new round of mask mandates, the Washington Examiner reported.
What’s going on?
Over the weekend, during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), made clear that the federal government is once again considering the possibility of mask mandates.
Tapper asked Fauci, who has a personal history of flip-flopping on the idea of masking up, if America is nearing a point where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering updating their guidelines to once again require individuals to strap on the mask.
“You know, Jake, this is under active consideration,” Fauci said. “If you’re asking am I part of the discussion? Yes, I am.”
FAUCI: Revising mask guidelines for vaccinated Americans is “under active consideration.” pic.twitter.com/J3DcZet6rt
— Carly Ortiz-Lytle (@intlcarly) July 25, 2021
The revelation came in the wake of several U.S. cities once again requiring residents to wear masks, including the vaccinated, including Los Angeles, California, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Leaving it to local authorities
Fauci seemed to suggest during the interview that the CDC would prefer to leave mask mandates to local health officials, who have a far better grasp of what level of danger their area is in, as far as the spread of COVID-19 is concerned.
“The CDC agrees with that ability and discretion capability to say, you know, ‘You’re in a situation where we’re having a lot of dynamics of infection. So, even if you are vaccinated, you should wear a mask.’ That’s a local decision that’s not incompatible with the CDC’s overall recommendations that give a lot of discretion to the locals,” Fauci remarked.
According to The New York Times, some 80% of new COVID-19 infections are reported to be the Delta variant of the virus, which reportedly spreads much faster and easier than the original version, even among the vaccinated population.
Protests against a new round of government-mandated lockdowns and mask rules have already erupted worldwide, including in countries such as Australia, France, Italy, and Greece.
Hopefully, the U.S. government takes a different approach to the situation than they did last year, as mask defiance and vaccine hesitancy will only increase as more Americans feel as though they’re being stripped of their constitutional freedoms.