Former surgeon general says CDC ‘fumbled’ new mask guidelines

The former surgeon general stated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line” with its complicated on how ​it ​communicated the mask steering for vaccinated Americans​ — because the announcement spawned confusion throughout the nation and even spark​ed a skit on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I think this was an appropriate call based on the science,” Dr. Jerome Adams stated Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I think the play call was right, but they fumbled the ball at the one-yard line in terms of communicating this to the public.”

Adams, who served as lawyer general below former President Donald Trump from 2017 till Trump left workplace in January, stated the new CDC steering introduced by director Rochelle Walensky final week left his colleagues within the public well being trade feeling “blind-sided.”

People wear their masks inside Truist Park before a baseball game between the Braves and the Phillies on May 8, 2021.
People put on their masks inside Truist Park earlier than a baseball recreation between the Braves and the Phillies on May 8, 2021.
AP Photo/Ben Margot

“I think you miss the nuance about protecting yourself versus protecting an organization,” Adams stated. “It was a little bit of whiplash for the American public in terms of them saying just a week before, keep your mask on and then all of sudden they’re saying now you can take them off.”

Walensky introduced the new laws final Thursday throughout a coronavirus briefing –despite the fact that solely ​45 p.c of Americans have been totally vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” she stated. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

Her announcement got here because the Biden administration was coming below stress ​to roll again the guidelines for vaccinated individuals as an incentive for reluctant Americans to get the shot in addition to to acknowledge the low charges of contagion among the many vaccinated. 

Walensky, showing on “Fox News Sunday,” was placed on the defensive over the choice, saying the CDC adopted the “evolving” science. 

Fox’s Chris Wallace grilled Walensky about going from informing vaccinated individuals on Wednesday that they should put on a mask indoors after which lower than 24 hours later telling them they don’t want one indoors or outdoor.

People eating in a group without masks on May 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Patrons consuming in a bunch with out masks on May 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
AP Photo/Ben Gray

“Would you agree that this abrupt shift was not handled as well as it might have been?” he requested Walensky.

“And what’s also happening is we’re getting data, evolving data, on the science​,” she responded, stating two scientific papers up to now week that examined the information.

“And so taking all of these data together, we’ve been working really actively just this whole last week to try and move the science, move the data, to the American people and tell people – deliver the science to them,” she stated.

The nation’s largest nurses union, National Nurses United, slammed the CDC for the rule of thumb, claiming it “threatens the lives of patients, nurses and other frontline workers.”

“Now is not the time to relax protective measures, and we are outraged that the CDC has done just that while we are still in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in a century,” stated Bonnie Castillo, the president of the union that represents greater than 170,000 members.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts stated he and a whole lot of different governors had been caught unaware.

“I found out about it in the news, just like the general public did,” Ricketts, a Republican, informed Fox News.

People go massless on the Atlanta Beltline on Friday, May 14, 2021, after the CDC updated their mask guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinated people.
People go massless on the Atlanta Beltline on Friday, May 14, 2021, after the CDC up to date their mask guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinated individuals.
AP Photo/Ben Gray

He faulted the CDC and the Biden White House for dropping the ball on speaking the new guideline.

“We really need to see better communication from the Biden administration, better communication from the CDC when they’re going to make policy changes so we have a heads-up on this and then can use that when we’re making decisions in our own states,” he stated.

“Saturday Night Live” ​lampooned the announcement in a cold-open skit.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing following new CDC guidance about gathering without masks on May 14, 2021.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing following new CDC steering about gathering with out masks on May 14, 2021.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The present opened with “a message from Dr. Anthony Fauci.” 

“It’s your boy, Fauci, the patron saint of Purell,” cast-member Kate McKinnon​ stated in her function as Fauci.

“The CDC announced that people that are vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, outdoors or indoors. Pretty great, right?” ​she stated.

But “a lot of people had questions, such as, what does that mean? What the hell are you talking about? Is this a trap?”

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