Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the novel coronavirus, isn’t sold on implementing new face mask policies just yet — especially because the United States has done well with vaccinations.
New calls for face masks
The World Health Organization has encouraged fully vaccinated people to start wearing masks again amid the coronavirus pandemic out of fears of the delta variant, which continues to surge in countries across the world.
- “People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general, according to USA Today.
The WHO isn't alone. For example, Los Angeles County called for residents to wear face masks in public spaces — no matter the vaccination status — to stop the spread of the delta variant.
What does Dr. Fauci think?
Dr. Fauci said it’s important to put the WHO’s guidance into perspective. The WHO deals with the entire world, whereas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fauci and President Joe Biden issue calls for masks for the United States, Fauci said.
- “It is not comparable to look at what the WHO is recommending for the planet compared to what we in the United States, which have done generally quite well with vaccinations,” said Fauci, according to CBS News.
Fauci said the U.S. is a “well-vaccinated country.” But the entire world remains “under-vaccinated.” That said, Fauci said he’s concerned for the people who have not gotten their COVID-19 vaccination shots yet.
- “The delta variant has the capability of spreading much more efficiently from person to person. It also can cause more severe disease. So there are two things about it that are troublesome,” he said. “The good news about this is that the vaccines that are used in this country do very well against the delta variant.”
Will the CDC change its rules?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is unlikely to change its guidances right now on face masks, Fauci told CBS News.
However, she said that “if you have an immunocompromising condition, if you might have had a transplant and you’re vaccinated, everybody should consider their own situation if they would feel more comfortable wearing a mask.”