Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that people who have been fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks outside.
Fauci said on CBS, “If you were vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask outside. It would be a very unusual situation if you were going into a completely crowded situation where people are essentially falling all over each other. Then you wear a mask. But any other time, if you are vaccinated and you are outside, put aside your mask, you don’t have to wear it.”
Dr Fauci gave the statement a week after the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) was called out for “exaggerating the risk of virus transmission while outdoors.”
He made the statement while answering the show’s Cohost Gayle King, who herself being fully vaccinated was still confused if she should wear a mask or not. She addressed her run-in with a stranger who was also wearing a mask and when King asked her “Why are we wearing our masks?” she responded, “I don’t know.”
Therefore, King added, “I think we all either feel guilty or we feel it’s not time, or we see everybody else doing it,” King said to Fauci. “Do you really think it’s OK? Because I still feel judged, I feel people giving you the side-eye. It’s not comfortable.”
Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, was one of those who was confused by CDC’s announcement of easing mask restrictions. She praised Dr. Fauci’s directness and simplicity on the subject that all Americans need to hear.
Wen said, “The CDC put out this complicated chart with faces and different colors, some with masks and without masks. It was hard to interpret,” Wen said. “I love the directness of what Dr. Fauci said, that if you’re outdoors and vaccinated, there’s no need to wear a mask.
Besides, citing the low transmission rate, which CDC reports to be less than 10%, Wen recommended that no one outdoors — vaccinated or unvaccinated — needs to wear a mask. She said, “I think people are just really tired of the pandemic, and we have to give them ways to socialize and be with one another again. That includes being outdoors, and in the mean time trying to get vaccinated so you can also hang with one another indoors.”