- Fully vaccinated Americans might “consider” indoor masks, Dr Anthony Fauci said.
- He said the Delta variant had “extraordinary person-to-person transmission capability”.
- Americans who are more fully vaccinated receive COVID-19, albeit with milder or no symptoms.
Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s foremost infectious disease expert, said fully vaccinated people might “consider” wearing masks indoors to help protect against the variant of the Delta coronavirus, which is rapidly spreading to across the country.
Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told CNBC on Wednesday that “if you want to go the extra mile to be safe even if you get vaccinated when you’re indoors, especially in crowded places, you may want to consider wearing a mask. “
Fauci said wearing a mask indoors is “suggested” when a virus is spreading rapidly in a community.
The Delta variant is more infectious and has mutations that help it bypass the body’s immune response. As it spreads in the United States, more fully vaccinated Americans are catching COVID-19 – albeit with milder symptoms, if any.
“This virus is clearly different from the viruses and variants that we have had experience with before,” Fauci said. “He has an extraordinary capacity for person-to-person transmission.”
The Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks except in certain situations, such as during flights.
States, workplaces and businesses can enforce their own mask rules.
Read more: Experts explain why mRNA technology that revolutionized COVID-19 vaccines could be the answer to incurable diseases, heart attacks and even snakebites: “The possibilities are endless”
The public health body has come under pressure to revise its guidance in recent weeks due to the emergence of the Delta variant, which is said to be at least 50% more infectious than the once-dominant Alpha variant.
The CDC has estimated that Delta accounts for 83% of all new infections in the United States. The country recorded 52,032 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Dr Jerome Adams, the former surgeon general, said on Sunday that “emerging data suggests the CDC should advise vaxing and masking it.” The World Health Organization said on June 26 that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in public places.
More than 161 million Americans are fully immunized, or 48% of the population, according to the CDC.
Some states have already urged fully vaccinated residents to put on their masks.
On June 28, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said it “strongly recommends that everyone, regardless of their immunization status, wear masks indoors in public places as a safety measure. precaution “, citing the Delta variant.
Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas, reintroduced indoor mask warrants for all workers Wednesday.
Despite his take on masks, Fauci said that “the easiest, best and most effective way to prevent the emergence of a new variant and crush the already existing Delta variant is to have everyone vaccinated. “.
Actual UK data released on Wednesday revealed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 88% effective in preventing COVID-19 with symptoms caused by the Delta variant.
In the United States, data has shown that more than 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 are unvaccinated people. “It’s a statistic that speaks for itself,” Fauci told CNBC.