Senators sought more clarity from the head of the CDC on the new relaxed mask guidance for fully vaccinated people.
Director Rochelle Walensky – who wore one Wednesday at the Captiol – testified before a Senate subcommittee. She said decisions about mask policy should depend on local circumstances.
"One of the things I think that's really key in this is to recognize that we are not a homogeneous country, that there are some areas that – some counties that – still have less than 20% of people vaccinated," Walensky said. "There's some counties that still have greater than 100 per 100,000 cases in a 7-day period of time. And so I actually think as I look at the map of very heterogeneous map of how we're doing with cases, how we're doing with vaccinations. The decisions about whether to take off a mask mandate have to be made at the local level, have to be made at the community level."
Under the new CDC recommendations, fully vaccinated people can ditch their mask in most situations.
The White House has used this to encourage people to get their shots, with Walensky telling Fox News "If you are not vaccinated, you are not safe."
But the guidance also raises questions about the risk for those who are immuno-compromised and kids, who may be unvaccinated.