Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference for the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical officer in the US, said fully vaccinated people may “want” to wear masks indoors to help protect against the delta variant, which is spreading rapidly across the country.
Dr. Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, told CNBC Wednesday that “if you want to be extra safe despite getting vaccinated when you’re indoors, especially in crowded places, you might want to wear a mask.”
Fauci explained that wearing a mask indoors was “suggested” when the virus was spreading rapidly in the community.
The delta variant is more contagious, and has mutations that help it evade the body’s immune response. As it spreads in the United States, more Americans who get fully vaccinated are contracting Covid-19 — albeit with milder or no symptoms.
“This virus is distinctly different from viruses and variants that we’ve been through before,” Fauci said. “It has an extraordinary ability to pass from person to person.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks, except in certain situations, such as during flights.
States, workplaces and companies can enforce their own mask rules.
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The Public Health Authority has come under pressure to revise its guidance in recent weeks due to the emergence of the delta variant, which is at least 50% contagious than the previously dominant alpha variant.
Delta now accounts for 83% of all new infections in the United States. The nation recorded 52,032 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Jerome Adams, a former general surgeon, said Sunday that “emerging data indicates that the CDC should advise concealment and concealment.” The World Health Organization said on June 26 that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in public.
More than 161 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, or 48% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some countries have already urged fully vaccinated citizens to wear their masks again.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said June 28 that it “strongly recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public as a precaution,” citing the most contagious type of Delta.
Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas, has reintroduced the mask indoors to all workers Wednesday.
Despite his views on masks, Fauci said that “the easiest, best, and most effective way we can prevent the emergence of a new variant and the crushing of an already existing delta variant is to pollinate everyone.”
The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is 88% effective in preventing Covid-19 with symptoms caused by the delta variant, according to real-world UK data published on Wednesday.
In the United States, 99.5% of Covid-19 deaths are among unvaccinated people. “This is a statistic that speaks for itself,” Fauci said.