Top Biden health officials and some White House officials are holding preliminary conversations on revising mask recommendations for vaccinated Americans as the Delta variant spreads throughout the US, according to multiple sources familiar with discussions.
Officials have weighed whether guidance should be revisited after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its mask mandate for vaccinated individuals earlier this year.
Under discussion is what messages on masking the White House offer and what guidance the CDC should issue, the sources say. White House officials have repeatedly said it will be up to the CDC whether to change official guidance.
“At the White House, we follow the guidance and advice of health and medical experts. Public health guidance is made by the CDC, and they continue to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals do not wear a mask. If you are not vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask,” a White House official told CNN.
Administration officials are insistent that science will guide the process, acutely aware that any official or non-official changes to mask rules would be a psychological blow for a country well into its second year of pandemic-related restrictions.
When President Joe Biden emerged in the Rose Garden in May to herald the CDC announcement that masks were no longer required for vaccinated Americans, he declared it “a great day in America;” new guidance to mask up would inevitably underscore the not-so-great predicament currently facing the nation. READ MORE