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CDC Mask Recommendations Relaxed

Last Played: May 18, 2021
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Several experts convene to discuss the new CDC guidelines regarding masks. They delve into the psychological aspects and the mental boost that taking a mask off gives to a lot of people. There are, however, some important caveats. For instance, masks are still required on public transport and for immunocompromised individuals, who now feel unsafe going to grocery stores,
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right in Alice. Olstein is a health care reporter with politico. Alice. Welcome. Thank you. Happy to be here julie. Pace is the Washington bureau chief and assistant managing editor for the Associated Press julie. It's great to have you. Thank you for having me. And Shane Harris covers national security and intelligence for the Washington post is also host of the Rational Security podcast. A Shane. Thanks for joining us. Hi, Natalie, good to be here. Thanks is the end in sight. New guidance from the CDC says vaccinated americans don't need to wear a mask indoors or out. Most of the time, President biden hailed the move yesterday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the C. D. C. Announced that they are no longer recommending that fully vaccinated people need wear masks. This recommendation holds true whether you are inside or outside. I think it's a great milestone, a great day. It's been made possible by the extraordinary success we've had in vaccinating so many americans so quickly julie. Is this a great milestone? How does it feel to you to have she hear the president say that? Have you stopped wearing a mask? Well, I am vaccinated so now based on CDC guidelines, it appears I can um look, I think this is significant for a couple of reasons. One I think that in terms of the actual science, it shows that the country is at a place where we have enough people who are vaccinated, um, and enough evidence of how those vaccines are working, not just in trials, but in real life. Um, that that we can take this step forward. I also think there's a real psychological impact to this. I mean, I think that it's been one of those, one of those moments that we've all sort of wondered about just in our own lives. When will I get to stop wearing a mask? When will I have to when will I be able to go about life a little bit more normally And for many people for millions of americans. That point is now and I think that that's a real boost for a lot of people Shane. I see you nodding your head. Is that a sense of relief for you also? It really is. And I mean I think for so many people and I would put myself in this category to thought you'll really know when the pandemic is over when you can take the mask off. Right. That will be this kind of visible symbol of course the science, the vaccination rates, the case positivity rates which at least in D. C. Where I live are incredibly low. And that's really are heartening and we're going to see massive reopening here faster than I certainly thought we would. But yes, just the sense that you don't need this protection for yourself or for others. This visible reminder that we've all been walking around with for more than a year of this upside down world we're living in to know that you can take that off, at least in most circumstances. It does feel like we turned a corner Alice. Let's talk about some of the details because there are still some important exceptions to this new guidance. Can you share that with us? Yes, absolutely. So this was meant to be a very simple message where a mask until you're vaccinated and then you don't have to, but there are a lot of caveats and fine print here, They're still gonna be in place. You still have to wear a mask if you're on a bus or a plane, if you're in some kind of health care setting, like a hospital if you're immuno compromised. And so there there are a lot of exceptions and I think there is a lot of complexity opened up here because how are businesses or workplaces or event space is supposed to verify who is and who is not fully vaccinated. I'm hearing a lot of concern from parents of young Children who say now I'm afraid to take my young child who might not be vaccinated until the fall in into these spaces where people are going to be unmasked. I have friends who are immuno compromised, who said, you know, I felt safe going to the grocery store when everyone was wearing masks and now I'm a little nervous about this. So I think the administration was really torn between some, some different factors here. You know, on the one hand, this is such an endorsement of the efficacy of the vaccines. We've had really good data from clinical trials about how effective they were. But now they've been put to the test out in the real world and the results have really been amazing. Cases are down. Hospitalizations are way down, deaths are the lowest they've been since april of last year. So I think the administration is looking at that data and saying, we don't need to require masks for fully vaccinated people. You know, no more masks, no more six ft apart. You know, we can go back to some kind of normal life. They're also hoping that this provides a strong incentive for people who are on the fence about whether or not to take the shot to go ahead and get it because they're hoping people who've been thinking or you know, why should I bother getting a shot? If I still have to abide by all the same restrictions as before. And there is
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