Americans need to start getting used to seeing people outside without masks as more and more people get vaccinated against Covid-19, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
Fauci reiterated new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that said fully vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks in public, unless they were in a crowd.
“We got to make that transition,” Fauci said in an interview with CBS News after anchor Gayle King said people give her “the side-eye” when she takes her mask off outside, even though she’s fully vaccinated. “If you are vaccinated and you are outside, put aside your mask, you don’t have to wear it.”
There is debate among medical experts over how much outdoor transmission is driving cases.
“The top line result of all studies included in the systematic review said less than 10% of cases are transmitted outdoors,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday at a Senate hearing.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, blasted Walensky during the hearing, saying the agency’s “conflicting, confusing guidelines … undermined public confidence and contradicts the scientific guidance of many experts.”
A report by the New York Times cites epidemiologists that say the CDC number is misleading, and that the actual number of outdoor transmissions could actually be below 0.1%.
Reports of new Covid-19 cases continued to decline in the U.S., averaging of 36,700 new cases per day over the last week as of Wednesday, the lowest daily case average Sept. 14, data complied by John Hopkins University shows.