White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday called for everyone to wear masks indoors again, even those who have been vaccinated, as the United States deals with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Fauci explained that the CDC hasn’t “changed” or “flip-flopped” on its guidance about masking indoors, noting that was prior to the Delta variant. He emphasized that wearing a mask indoors despite being vaccinated is necessary due to the Delta variant being “really quite a lot more transmissible than the Alpha variant.”
“[N]ow, we are dealing with the Delta variant, which is really quite a lot more transmissible than the Alpha variant, number one,” Fauci outlined. “And number two, the data are clear, the most recent data, that when a person gets infected who has been vaccinated, namely a breakthrough infection, and they get infected with the Delta variant, that the level of virus in their nasopharynx is about 1,000 times higher than with the Alpha variant. And it has been well documented that even though it’s a rare occurrence, those individuals can and have transmitted the virus to uninfected individuals. And, for that reason, the recommendations and the guidelines have been changed to say that if you are vaccinated, even though you are vaccinated, when you are in an indoor public setting in an area of the country with a high degree of viral dynamics, namely the red and orange sections on the CDC chart, then you need to wear a mask even though you are vaccinated.”
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