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CDC Director: Wearing masks will be “hard to let go” despite new guidelines

President Joe Biden made a similar case in his White House address Thursday when he endorsed the CDC’s new guidelines. Some Americans “may just feel more comfortable if they keep wearing a mask” even after getting their vaccinations, he said.

“You may feel that way. So if you are someone with a mask – you see it, please treat it with kindness and respect, ”Biden said. “We had too many conflicts, too much bitterness, too much anger, too much polarization on this issue of wearing masks. Let’s calm it down. “

Walensky also suggested Thursday that fully vaccinated parents and teachers “may want to continue wearing masks to model behavior” for children who have not yet been vaccinated or are currently unable to receive the vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the administration of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to children ages 12-15, and a CDC panel on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the extension of the shot.

But Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and chief medical officer at Biden, estimated on Friday that children under the age of 12 are unlikely to get the vaccine before the fall school year if government officials pressured face-to-face tuition at five Days in the week to resume.

“I believe children of all ages can be vaccinated by the end of this calendar year and probably sooner,” Fauci told MSNBC. However, elementary school children are unlikely to be vaccinated before class starts, he said.

“No. I don’t think so. … I believe that high school kids and teens can certainly be vaccinated by the fall year, but I think it will be before the end of the calendar year for elementary school kids to be vaccinated,” Fauci said .

The White House responded to the new CDC guidelines on Thursday and lifted its mask mandate for staff and visitors. Congress followed suit, and lawmakers learned that health officials would lift most of the coronavirus restrictions on fully vaccinated people across the complex.

And although the Capitol doctor informed members and staff that fully vaccinated people could resume pre-pandemic activities “without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart,” according to a memo from POLITICO, spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said CNN that she wouldn’t lift the mask mandate on the floor of the house until more lawmakers were vaccinated.

Pelosi’s refusal to reset the requirement contradicts the recommendations of public health experts and underscores the messaging challenges the CDC is currently facing – particularly conflicting guidance from state and local authorities not yet ready to give up mask mandates.

On Friday, Walensky emphasized that while the CDC “had to take this first step” to announce its new mask tour: “We really have to understand that this country is not a single country.”

“There are places in this country where disease rates are still higher. There are places in this country where vaccination rates are still lower, ”she said. “And so people really have to look into their local environment.”

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