14 May Biden Removes Mask Mandates for Fully-Vaccinated People
While giving an update on the pandemic, US President Joe Biden announced that fully vaccinated people can go maskless during most indoor or outdoor events. During a White House COVID-19 briefing, conducted on Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that fully vaccinated people can remove their masks indoors or while outdoors. He also concluded that vaccinated people do not need to follow social distancing rules. However, wearing a mask in crowded places like hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons or public transport is still mandatory for everyone. Biden later added, “Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do”.
As the guidances were being announced, Biden removed his mask in the Oval Office and hailed, “It’s a great day for America”. In another step to returning to a sense of normality, the President of the 1.7m-member American Federation of Teachers Labor Union announced that schools will finally be opening in Autumn.
The announcement to go maskless came after the FDA approved the administration of the Pfizer vaccine in children above the age of 12. During the meet, Biden also emphasized his aim to get at least 70% of the American population vaccinated with at least one jab by July 4. He also states that the only way to fight this pandemic is to join forces globally.
After the announcement, Biden joined vice-president Kamala Harris and other staff members at the White House Rose Garden Event without wearing any mask.
Several estimates show that since last September, the number of cases has declined steadily and since last April, the death rate has also reached its lowest.
While urging non-vaccinated people to get vaccinated and enjoy the maskless privilege, it might be difficult for the officials to recognize who is vaccinated and who’s not. Moreover, although 35% of the population is vaccinated, the demand is declining steadily, mainly because most Americans are still hesitant to receive the vaccine.
SOURCES- BBC, Fox News