Former President Donald Trump blasted the Biden administration Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended indoor mask mandates in most areas of the US as well as in all K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
“We won’t go back,” the 45th president said. “We won’t mask our children. Joe Biden and his Administration learned nothing from the last year. Brave Americans learned how to safely and responsibly live and fight back.
“Don’t surrender to COVID,” Trump added. “Don’t go back! Why do Democrats distrust the science? Don’t let this happen to our children or our Country.”
Earlier Tuesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said masks should be worn in indoor public places in locations where coronavirus transmission is either “substantial” or “high.” The agency defines “substantial” transmission in an area as having between 50 and 99 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. “High” transmission is defined as having 100 or more cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
Currently, 63.45 percent of US counties are experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission as defined by the CDC, including all five NYC boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Bergen, Essex and Union counties in New Jersey.
Walensky also said that while America’s children should “return to full time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies,” masks should be worn by teachers, staff, students and visitors whether they are vaccinated or not.
The announcement came 75 days after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people could go without masks in most indoor settings. Health officials have cited the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant as the reason for the backslide.
Walensky said that while vaccines are highly effective against serious illness, including the Delta variant, the new guidance helps protect more vulnerable individuals and children who are too young to get immunized.
The CDC director added that unpublished data obtained in recent days indicates the level of the Delta variant of the virus in infected vaccinated people is “indistinguishable” from the level of virus in the noses and throats of unvaccinated people.
“It is concerning enough that we feel like we have to act,” said Walensky, who added that vaccinated people “have the potential to spread that virus to others.”
President Biden dismissed concerns Tuesday that the new masking guidance could invite confusion, saying Americans who remain unvaccinated are the ones who are “sowing enormous confusion.”
“The more we learn about this virus and the delta variation, the more we have to be worried and concerned,” he said. “And there’s only one thing we know for sure — if those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world.”
With Post wires