President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are continuing to push universal mask-wearing for all Americans in spite of recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that vaccinated people who share the same space do not have to mask up.
As such, Biden and Harris are sending an inaccurate message to the country that some critics believe is actually harming efforts to vaccinate more people.
“Mask up, America,” Biden’s presidential Twitter account noted on Sunday featuring a photo of the president and vice president wearing masks.
Mask up, America. pic.twitter.com/6yaUHYmzWC
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 21, 2021
“They’ve both been completely vaccinated and should not be wearing masks. By not showing that life will be any different *after* getting vaccinated, Biden and Harris are hurting vaccination efforts,” The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra responded on Twitter.
“And tell me how this is helping convince people to get vaccinated…which is FAR more important,” added Pradheep Shanker, a radiologist and contributor to conservative publications.
And tell me how this is helping convince people to get vaccinated…which is FAR more important.
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) March 22, 2021
According to the CDC:
Fully vaccinated people can:
— Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
— Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
— Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
The agency does recommend that vaccinated people should nevertheless “take precautions” while in public such as “wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing,” especially around people who are at greater risk for contracting COVID-19.
Still, critics say the administration’s messaging regarding masks and vaccines is conflicting, which was demonstrated during a back-and-forth between Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is also the country’s top immunologist.
During testimony last week, Paul grilled Fauci over his continued insistence that Americans continue wearing masks, including those who have been vaccinated — Paul’s point being that vaccines bring about immunity and thus no longer put people at risk.
The Kentucky Republican called Fauci’s wearing of two masks, though he, too, has been vaccinated, “just theater,” adding “there have been no scientific studies arguing or proving that infection with COVID does not create immunity” and noting there have been “only a handful of reinfections.”
“Given that no scientific studies have shown significant numbers of reinfections of patients previously infected or previously vaccinated, what specific studies do you cite to argue that the public should be wearing masks well into 2022?” Paul asked.
Fauci questioned the connection that Paul, an ophthalmologist by training, was attempting to make.
“You’re telling everybody to wear a mask, whether they’ve had an infection or a vaccine,” Paul explained. “What I’m saying is they have immunity, and everybody agrees they have immunity. What studies do you have that people who have had the vaccine or have had the infection are spreading the infection? If we aren’t spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?”
After Fauci dismissed the accusation, Paul pressed: “You’ve had a vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?
“No — here we go again with the theater,” Fauci responded.
Regarding masks, the CDC released a little-discussed study on the anniversary of Fauci’s March 2020 controversial statement about donning masks that found they have had very little impact on the COVID-19 death toll.
This COVID panic horribly mismanaged!
Government data shows MASKS HAD NO IMPACT ON COVID SPREAD. This obsession w/ wearing masks has made things worse w/ negative health issues & giving a false sense of security avoiding preventative methods that do work.https://t.co/FRWJAlkLM5
— Wayne Dunlap (@wdunlap) March 22, 2021
“Mandating masks was associated with a decrease in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation. Allowing on-premises restaurant dining was associated with an increase in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 41–100 days after implementation and an increase in daily death growth rates 61–100 days after implementation,” says a summary of the study.
However, a closer look at the findings indicates that wearing masks reduced COVID deaths by less than 2 percent.
“During March 1–December 31, 2020, state-issued mask mandates applied in 2,313 (73.6%) of the 3,142 U.S. counties. Mask mandates were associated with a 0.5 percentage point decrease (p = 0.02) in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.1, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.8 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation,” the CDC study said.
“Mask mandates were associated with a 0.7 percentage point decrease…in daily COVID-19 death growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.0, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation,” the study noted further (emphasis added).
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