Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said vaccination is the “way out of this pandemic” despite her agency effectively caving to the Chinese coronavirus by recommending vaccinated Americans to begin masking up in certain settings.
“The #DeltaVariant is spreading with incredible efficiency. It is much more aggressive and transmissible than previously circulating #COVID19 strains causing more than 83% of recent cases. Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic,” Walensky said Monday, one day before news broke that her agency is backtracking on mask recommendations:
The #DeltaVariant is spreading with incredible efficiency. It is much more aggressive and transmissible than previously circulating #COVID19 strains causing more than 83% of recent cases. Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic. https://t.co/bfOV5VzBpq https://t.co/wnnfgjuY5w
— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) July 26, 2021
People in areas with high or substantial Covid-19 transmission should resume wearing masks, the CDC is expected to say, according to sources familiar with the announcement. Nearly two-thirds of US counties have high or substantial transmission of Covid-19, according to CDC data; 46% of counties have high transmission and 17% have substantial transmission. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to announce the decision at a 3 p.m. ET briefing on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci hinted that new guidance was “under active consideration.”
“It’s a dynamic situation. It’s a work in progress, it evolves like in so many other areas of the pandemic,” he told CNN. “You’ve got to look at the data.”
The mixed messaging comes as the Biden administration and his allies continue to promote vaccination nationwide. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) took it a step further during Monday’s press conference, expressing the need to “get in those communities … knock on those doors … convince people, and put them in a car and drive them and get that vaccine in their arm.”
“That is the mission,” he declared.
Meanwhile, states are continuing to report breakthrough infections. Last month, Massachusetts reported nearly 4,000 cases of the Chinese coronavirus among vaccinated individuals. And last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 159 deaths and 593 hospitalizations in fully vaccinated people who contracted the virus. The number of breakthrough infections is likely much higher, considering the state does not publicly offer data on such cases that do not require hospitalization.
Walensky is expected to hold a briefing at 3 p.m. Eastern.