CDC: Why Mask? Don't Ask

July 28, 2021

Yesterday new CDC guidance directed vaccinated persons to wear masks indoors over most of the country, and urged everyone in K-12 schools to wear masks in the fall. The guidance reversed the rules the CDC issued earlier this year, which recognized that people vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks because they are immune, at least to its most harmful effects.

"Why do people who have the vaccine need to now wear masks the same as people who have not had it?" That's the question Fox News' Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki's response was telling, "Because the public health leaders in our administration have made the determination." That response was not much different from a parent looking upon a questioning child with, "because I said so." But there is one big difference, Americans aren't children, we are rational adults with a responsibility to hold the government accountable. Why won't the Biden administration give us a straight answer?

Apparently, because they don't have one. Psaki's response, continued saying that vaccinated people should wear masks "to make sure they're protected." If the vaccine provides immunity, it's not unreasonable to ask what they think people are being protected from: Freedom? Republicans? Returning to normal life? Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who practiced medicine for over 25 years, said on "Washington Watch" either the vaccine or a previous infection from the virus will give you 95 percent protection from present infection, even from the new Delta variant. Marshall expressed concern over the attitude of the CDC and the press secretary, who seem to think "they're smarter than you are... [and] knows what's best for you."

He said the CDC's latest decision "is just going to create more vaccine hesitancy. It's going to backfire on the CDC." Almost everyone who hasn't received the COVID vaccine doesn't want it. "I just wish there was a little bit more common sense here at the CDC," Marshall said. "We have to be getting close to herd immunity." The CDC should be helping us reach that goal, by acknowledging natural immunity instead of encouraging vaccine-hesitant Americans to dig in on their current positions by demanding vaccination.

Mask rules are especially cruel to children. "There's a huge psychological toll from the masks," which the CDC has completely ignored in its latest diktat. Depriving children of interaction with human faces hampers their development as well as their mental health, and we have known from early in the pandemic that children are much more resistant to infection and severe infection than adults. There is no reason for children to wear masks. Yet Biden insists they keep the mask on -- to protect...who knows? -- until who knows when because the vaccines haven't yet been proven safe for children. Guess what else isn't safe for children.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have done little to depoliticize the vaccine; apologizing for their own disgraceful vaccine skepticism in 2020 would be a good start. Their administration has handled COVID regulations in an authoritarian manner, showing disdain for the unconvinced and those who raise reasonable objections. The DOJ this week endorsed vaccine mandates, but other agencies can't competently signal trust in the vaccines. The CDC dragged its feet on easing mask restrictions for vaccinated persons, abruptly halted one vaccine for no good reason, and within three months is reversing itself. If reaching herd immunity is harder than it needs to be, the Biden administration has made it that way, demoralizing Americans and trampling on freedoms in the process.