NIH Director: ‘Hopeful’ about July 4 Goal, ‘But There Are Clouds’ Like States Lifting Mask Mandates

On Saturday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Velshi,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins stated that we should shoot for having July 4 gatherings, and he is “hopeful.” “But there are clouds on that horizon” like some states lifting mask mandates.

Collins said, “[I]f, in fact, by May 1, everybody can start signing up, and by the end of June, the majority of Americans will be immunized, then this July 4 gathering, at least with other people who have been vaccinated, in small groups, seems like a goal we should aim for. But there are clouds on that horizon. Again, you just had this bit about mask mandates being taken away. Boy, is that the wrong time to do that. We have this slightly troubling, maybe more than slightly troubling variant called B117 that is now about 30% of the isolates in the U.S. and we know is more contagious. So, if there was ever a time to put on the mask, this is it. So, with all that said, I am hopeful.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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