Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claimed Tuesday that COVID-19 is "just a few mutations" away from rendering COVID vaccines completely ineffective.
The suggestion caused some to warn of a "feedback loop" of unending COVID-related restrictions.
What did Walensky say?
While speaking with media to defend the CDC's updated guidance that fully vaccinated Americans who live in regions with high transmission rates of COVID-19 should wear face masks, Walensky suggested COVID-19 may become so genetically mutated that current vaccines may no longer be effective against it.
Walensky was responding to a question about why vaccinated people should have to wear face masks to protect Americans who choose not to become vaccinated.
"Your point is well taken about those who have made the choice to not get vaccinated and the amount of virus that is circulating in this country right now," Walensky began. "So for the amount of viruses circulating in this country, largely among unvaccinated people, the largest concern that I think we in public health and science are worried about is that virus and the potential mutations away we are from a very transmissible virus that has the potential to evade our vaccine, in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death.
"Right now, fortunately, we are not there. These vaccines operate really well in protecting us about severe forms of severe disease and death," she continued. "But the big concern is that the next variant that might emerge, just a few mutations potentially away, could potentially evade our vaccine."
"So vaccinated people need to mask because of hypothetical future mutations? Seriously I used to roll my eyes when people would say s**t like 'they just want to control you,' but how the f*** else do you interpret this trend?" Noam Blum of Tablet Magazine reacted.
"There is a self-reinforcing feedback loop that will applaud the rationale and ignore the contradictory messaging. But this statement is in conflict with itself, and no amount of table pounding will resolve it," conservative writer Noah Rothman said.
The messages coming from Walensky are, indeed, confusing.
During an interview Wednesday on CNN, Walensky said the vaccinated can infect the vaccinated, yet maintained the spike in cases has been caused by unvaccinated people. She also essentially endorsed vaccine passports, saying they "may very well be a path forward."