Confusing Messages from Officials on CDC Mask Announcement

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An electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 NIAID-RML

Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by Tom Tapp on May 13, 2021.

“At businesses, whether indoors or outdoors, masks are still required to be worn,” said Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer Thursday afternoon. Just minutes before, President Joe Biden delivered a different message.

“I want to be clear about what the CDC is saying and what the CDC is not saying,” Biden said during a speech marking the announcement. “The CDC is saying they have concluded that fully-vaccinated people are at a very, very low risk of getting Covid-19. Therefore, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. Let me repeat: If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask.”

Biden emphasized, “This recommendation holds true whether you are inside or outside.”

But the CDC hedged its announcement just hours before.

The CDC tweeted, “If you are fully vaccinated against #COVID19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance.” …

Deadline Hollywood 5/13

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at