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CNN host presses CDC chief on mask guidance: 'Why the hell' do vaccinated 'have to pay the price'

The Hill
The Hill

CNN host John Berman on Wednesday pressed the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on why the agency updated its guidance to recommend that many Americans wear masks again, including vaccinated individuals.

“You can understand the frustration in those of us who are vaccinated saying, ‘Why the hell do I have to pay the price for this?' ” Berman told CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on "New Day."

"Right," Walensky responded, before seeking to explain the new guidance.

"We're asking everyone in those areas of orange and red to mask up," she said, adding people who are fully vaccinated and are in a red or "high-risk" area of transmissibility have a "reasonably high chance" of still spreading the virus to other people.

"For every 20 people, one or two of them could get a breakthrough, they may only get mild disease, but we wanted them to know they could bring that mild disease home, they could bring it to others," she said.

The CDC's new guidance, released Tuesday, has been criticized by some outside public health experts as confusing, given that many Americans don't know if they are in an area classified as high risk for transmission of the contagious delta variant.

The delta variant is now accounting for the majority of new cases in the United States, and Walensky acknowledged in the CNN interview that the rise in cases can be attributed primarily to the spread of the coronavirus from unvaccinated people to other unvaccinated individuals.

Still, the CDC suggests even vaccinated people wear masks in some situations if they are in an area with a “substantial” or “high” COVID-19 transmission level. In those counties, the agency recommends Americans wear masks in crowded indoor environments, such as grocery stores, arenas and theaters.

President Biden is reportedly weighing a policy that would require all civilian federal workers to receive an inoculation as a condition of employment and several states and cities have indicated they will require the same of teachers, doctors and other workers.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted during an interview on CNBC earlier Wednesday that the country could be past the delta variant surge of the virus within a few weeks.

Comments / 308


Maybe because the vaccinated are spreading the virus. Remember the plane of vaccinated politicians who spread it amongst each other and then continued to spread it to other vaccinated people….not unvaccinated…they were vaccinated. CDC just said vaccinated and unvaccinated who have tested positive had the same amount of virus when tested.


Because masks and these vaccines DO NOT work!! When will you wake up? Masks suppress our immune systems further increasing susceptibility to common cold and viruses!! Prove me wrong

Deb Thomas

You have to wear a mask because the vaccine does not work. Don't blame people who did not get it. You have a vaccine that won't show you it's ingredients the FDA has not approved it and you're the dumbass for getting it


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