Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the country’s top infectious disease experts, said he supports the idea of loosening indoor masking rules as the United States continues its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

What Fauci said

Fauci said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration “need to start being more liberal” when it comes to wearing masks indoors now that vaccinations continue to climb, according to The New York Times. This means there would be more lenient rules of wearing masks indoors.

  • He said the U.S. is currently averaging about 43,000 COVID-19 cases per day.
  • “We’ve got to get it much, much lower than that,” he said, according to The New York Times.

How COVID-19 spreads

Fauci’s comments come just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to says the novel coronavirus can be inhaled when you’re more than 6 feet away from someone who has the coronavirus.

The CDC said “transmission events have involved the presence of an infectious person exhaling virus indoors for an extended time (more than 15 minutes and in some cases hours) leading to virus concentrations in the air space sufficient to transmit infections to people more than 6 feet away, and in some cases to people who have passed through that space soon after the infectious person left,” according to the CDC.

Should we wear masks indoors?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former chief of the Food and Drug Administration, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the weekend that the CDC needs to loosen its guidelines when it comes to wearing masks indoors, though, as vaccines continue to be rolled out the millions of Americans.

  • “We are at the point right now where we can and start lifting these ordinances and allowing people to resume normal activity. Certainly, outdoors, we should not be putting limits on gatherings anymore and we should be encouraging people to go outside,” he said, according to CNBC.

How many people are vaccinated?

According to the CDC, 45.8% of the U.S. population has received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 34.4% fully vaccinated.