CDC Mask Mandate: The CDC eased its guidelines on the wearing of masks outdoors for fully vaccinated Americans. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Story: CDC Mask Mandate
Mike Stobbe, writing for the Associated Press, reports: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
And those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some situations, too.
The new guidance represents another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in US.
For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of one another.”
On The Right
The right sees this announcement as further vindication in their continued call for a return to normalcy.
In The Federalist, Jordan Davidson recalls Dr. Atlas warning that “Fauci, the CDC, and others” were “participating in…scientific ‘groupthink’ surrounding COVID-19.” She states Atlas had always pushed back on outdoor masking, asking “Why in the world would you wear a mask if you’re riding your bicycle all alone outside” or “in your own car driving?” Davidson accuses “the left’s corporate media mouthpieces” speaking on behalf of Fauci and company as they hammered Atlas “for recommending schools and cities reopen amid the pandemic.” For instance, she states, Google-owned YouTube “removed an interview with Atlas discussing how government-imposed lockdowns were doing more harm than good for allegedly violating its terms of service.” As Atlas put it, “When the head of the CDC held up a mask and said a mask is better than a vaccine, that is absurd,” “not science,” and “contrary to all rational thought.”
On The Left
Some on the left believe outdoor masking is more so a symbol of empathy than a public health tool.
An anonymous New Yorker writes in Outline that although she will “be the first to explain all the ways we know running outside without a mask is safe,” she dons her mask as a “courtesy, a signal to my neighbors that I cared about their health and was taking precautions to keep them protected.” While she believes “we don’t ‘need’ to wear masks outside,” she is also “sympathetic to the trauma we’ve endured as a nation, a city, and as individuals.” To the writer, “Masks represent a semblance of control and comfort that we’d wrestled back from the disease,” and so she will “[continue] to wear [her] mask for a little longer” out of respect for others around her.
Flag This: CDC Mask Mandate
Many Americans dismissed CDC advice on outdoor masking months ago. The AP quotes 73-year-old Judy Adams of Montgomery, Alabama, who “said she hasn’t worn a mask outside since the early days of the pandemic a year ago and only puts them on inside when stores mandate them.” To Adams, “It’s ridiculous, because it’s not helping.” Instead, she sees outdoor masking as “nothing but control and fear,” echoing sentiments shared by others as well.