The COVID-19 vaccine was supposed to be the end of the pandemic and the draconian restrictions that came along with it — but the experts aren’t going to let that happen.
This is a reversal of the guidance from the CDC in May that stated vaccinated individuals no longer had to mask up indoors, but has come ostensibly as a response to the Delta variant of the virus.
“In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause Covid-19,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, told the media in a briefing about the changes, according to CNN.
“This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations,” she claimed. “This is not a decision that we or CDC has made lightly.”
The “new science” apparently reveals that the viral load for vaccinated individuals with the variant is similar to those who have not been vaccinated, though the inoculated still very rarely get ill or transmit the disease.
Still, with over 46 percent of U.S. counties falling into the “high” community transmission category, vaccinated people in half of the country must now go back to masking like the inoculation never happened.
Even more demoralizing is what they’re recommending be imposed on children who are going into a third school year where COVID-19 exists.
“CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status,” Tuesday’s update on the CDC website stated.
“Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.”
Kids going back to school should be covering their faces and staying three feet away from their classmates and teachers — again, regardless of vaccination status — despite having little to no risk of serious illness even if they catch the virus.
At the beginning of the pandemic, anyone expressing trepidation about giving the government such power with so little incentive to ever hand it back was ridiculed and effectively silenced.
Now it seems clear that going back to “normal” is a moving target increasingly out of reach, even as over 49 percent of all Americans have been fully vaccinated with the rate climbing as high as 81.5 percent in the 65-74 age demographic, according to Mayo Clinic data.
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro took direct aim at the new requirements in light of the minuscule risk to the vaccinated, thus effectively undermining the rationale for this change beyond a political club.
“From the same CDC. This means that thus far, the odds of you getting hospitalized or dying from a breakthrough infection after vaccination are approximately 1 in 27,223,” Shapiro tweeted Tuesday with a screenshot of the statistical data from the CDC on the efficacy of vaccines.
“And I’m not going to mask myself or my child to protect people who can get the vaccine anytime they want,” he added.
From the same CDC. This means that thus far, the odds of you getting hospitalized or dying from a breakthrough infection after vaccination are approximately 1 in 27,223. And I’m not going to mask myself or my child to protect people who can get the vaccine anytime they want. pic.twitter.com/yUrSH3qOZA
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 27, 2021
Republican lawmakers quickly cried foul over the new guidance as well.
“The new CDC mask guidance is the final political nail into the credibility coffin of public health,” Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted shortly after the CDC announcement.
The new CDC mask guidance is the final political nail into the credibility coffin of public health.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) July 27, 2021
“This is not science. It’s politics,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz charged in a tweet Tuesday.
“Vaccines work. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t need a d*mn mask,” he pointed out. “CDC has told us that!”
This is not science. It’s politics.
Vaccines work. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t need a damn mask.
CDC has told us that! https://t.co/7vrBpuPPGj
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 23, 2021
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was already outspoken about mandates for schoolchildren.
“I think our fear is that seeing some of those rumblings, that there be an attempt from the federal level or even some of these organizations to try to push for mandatory masking of school children,” DeSantis said a roundtable on Monday just ahead of the new rules, Fox News reported.
“And so our view is that this should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated,” the Republican governor said.
The changes to the CDC guidelines were even more unpalatable in light of his steadfast position against mask mandates, with the newest change proving what many have known all along.
“It isn’t based in science,” DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw told the news outlet after the new CDC guidelines, echoing fellow GOP lawmakers.
“There is no indication that areas with mask mandates have performed any better than areas without mask mandates. In fact, this policy could actually backfire,” she said.
With new mask mandates coming down the pike, it’s only logical to assume lockdowns are once again on the horizon — so what’s the incentive to get vaccinated for its own sake?
Well, that may be just the point. This new mandate feels punitive against the unvaccinated and may be purposefully so.
After all, vaccine passports are incredibly controversial right now, meaning everyone has to rely on the honor system when going out into the world unmasked.
But public outrage and targeted shame are tools often used to coerce people to do what they otherwise wouldn’t, and if you can’t incentivize something, it’s only rational to disincentivize not doing something.
The government is blaming the unvaccinated for the variant and the resurrection of the mask recommendations, a group they’ve already effectively marginalized, otherized and even criminalized in some parts of the world.
“They’re killing people. I mean they really — Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” President Joe Biden said earlier this month before walking it back.
Now they’re telling the people who have been locked in their homes for more than a year — convinced they’ll die from breathing the air — that there’s a group of people to directly blame for their continued panic.
We used to call this scapegoating, but now it looks like it’s slowly becoming public policy.
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