Surgeon General Murthy: Localities Reinstituting Mask Mandates ‘to Protect the Vaccinated,’ and Stop Transmission

On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “AC360,” Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that localities like Los Angeles County that are bringing back mask mandates are doing so “to protect the vaccinated,” and to prevent the unvaccinated or vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from transmitting to others.

Murthy stated that he hopes people are “recognizing that they can get protection if they get vaccinated.”

He later added, “The guidance they issued a few days ago, we specifically asked individuals in areas where there’s high or substantial transmission to put their masks back on when they’re in public indoor spaces. That was intended to reduce transmission, recognizing that some breakthrough cases can actually end up transmitting infection, and particularly for people like me and you, Anderson, and other parents out there who have unvaccinated kids at home, that extra layer of precaution will help us protect the vulnerable at home. But localities, like L.A. County and others that are putting mask mandates back in place, they’re not only looking to protect the vaccinated, but they’re trying to protect — or prevent the unvaccinated from spreading the virus to others. Because, again, that is the dominant mode of transmission. So, we’ve got to certainly make that clear to the public. But that’s why I think you see more localities also re-visiting mask mandates. Because we’ve got to protect the unvaccinated from infecting others, and if those who are vaccinated, in unusual cases, have breakthrough infections, we’ve got to make sure they don’t transmit that to others, particularly those in their family.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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