June 14, 2024

US ‘can’t let guard down’ as Biden administration revives mask mandates

Mask wearing is back and is now again mandated by the federal government in some of the COVID-19 hotspots in the nation. President Joe Biden called the move “another step on our journey to defeating this virus” in a written statement issued on Tuesday.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strongly encouraging vaccinated people to wear masks in indoor settings in certain parts of the United States where there are high volumes of cases due to the spike of the delta variant.  

Masks are also being mandated for school children K-12 as well as teachers and staff both vaccinated and unvaccinated. President Biden said it may be “inconvenient,” but it is a must to reopen schools in the fall. He assured that the CDC “reaffirmed that we can safely reopen schools this fall — full time.” 

Tuesday’s announcement by the president also makes clear that the “most important protection we have against the delta variant is to get vaccinated.”

When it comes to COVID-19 and surviving the virus, recently, President Biden acknowledged long-term effects of COVID can be considered a disability. That as it is said, vaccinated people can carry the same viral load of the virus as the unvaccinated.

In a recent exclusive interview, Education Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona, told theGrio, “we can’t let our guard down yet or our mask down in certain cases.” Cordona contends that he is “working closely with the CDC on making sure that the guidance that’s out there is applicable to schools.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona listens to a speaker during a roundtable discussion at Mercy College on June 14, 2021 in the Pelham Bay neighborhood of the Bronx borough in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

However, each state determines its education procedures and processes. Cardona added, ”I don’t mandate masks. I don’t mandate vaccinations. We work closely with our health experts to make strong recommendations. And at this point, there is no requirement on vaccinations for public schools. But we’re seeing the data.” 

In recent days, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health said, “we are going in the wrong direction” with the doubling of COVID cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

When theGrio asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if there are no absolutes in this moment of COVID, she said the country is “not at that point.”

Spikes in COVID-19 have also impacted Wall Street. The concern is that the delta variant and its deadly impact along with the concern of other more dangerous variants are cropping up and will continue to if the majority of the nation’s population is not vaccinated. 

In this Friday, March 5, 2021 file photo, a restaurant worker holds his face mask in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Meanwhile, the White House is working overtime to combat COVID-19 misinformation that could cause vaccine hesitancy and even death. They have laid down the gauntlet when it comes to misinformation on the deadly virus. Psaki said in recent weeks that Facebook and some of its other companies are responsible for 65% of the misinformation on COVID-19. 

The effort to combat these lies and misinformation is all an attempt to get the majority of Americans vaccinated. 

Another culprit when it comes to vaccine hesitancy in this season of COVID is the news cycle that sometimes offers true stories that may put some of the companies that create the vaccine in a negative light. One of the most recent stories is the lawsuit filed by the National Council of Negro Women who contend that Johnson & Johnson targeted Black women to purchase its talcum powder that is said to cause ovarian cancer.

The White House has said “the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is entirely separate from baby powder, was approved by the gold standard of the FDA, which requires a rigorous look at the data and safety guardrails. The FDA approved the distribution and use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.”

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