Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, took to Twitter on Friday to clarify a statement she made on Fox News indicating that the Biden “administration is looking into” a federal vaccination mandate.
Walensky’s remarks: On the Twitter post, she explained, “There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government. There will be no federal mandate.”
Earlier on Friday, Bret Baier on Fox News’ “Special Report” asked Walensky whether she was in favor of mandating a vaccine on the federal level, to which she responded, “That’s something that I think the administration is looking into. It’s something that I think we are looking to see approval of from the vaccine.”
How we got here: This mixed messaging comes after the CDC updated its guidance on Tuesday toward vaccinated individuals to recommend the following: “To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”
Previously, the CDC recommended that vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks indoors.
In support of the new guidelines, the CDC pointed to a study of an outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 3 during which 400 people were infected, three-quarters of which had been fully vaccinated.
“This finding is concerning and was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC’s updated mask recommendation. The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones,” Walensky clarified on Friday.
Worth noting: Nevertheless, many media outlets and medical professionals criticized the CDC’s confusing messaging.
CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner summed it up by saying, “I think the guidance is right, but I think their messaging is awful.”
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