Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been tasked with making the television rounds to justify her agency's decision Tuesday to reverse its mask guidelines.
In an interview with CNN's "New Day" Wednesday, the show's co-host grilled her, wanting to know "why the hell" vaccinated people should have to go back to wearing masks.
Just two months ago, the CDC declared that vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks. But with the surge of the Delta variant, the agency flipped its recommendation and is now calling for vaccinated Americans to mask up indoors if they are in an area of the country with high or substantial transmission of COVID-19.
Critics of the CDC's move blasted the agency for offering what they viewed as essentially political advice, not health advice. And Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the onetime director of the Food and Drug Administration, called the newly issued guidelines "confusing" and said they would have a "negligible impact" on the Delta surge.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, naturally, defended the CDC's mask reversal and even said, "The CDC hasn't really flip-flopped at all."
When Walensky appeared on left-leaning CNN to promote her agency's latest move, she likely expected a fairly friendly back-and-forth.
What she got was probably a little more pushback from "New Day" co-host John Berman than she had hoped for.
"You can understand the frustration in those of us who are vaccinated saying, 'Why the hell do I have to pay the price for this?'" Berman asked.
Walensky, as has been her wont, offered a fairly unhelpful and uninformative answer.
.@CDCDirector Dr. Rochelle Walensky on the new mask guidance: "With prior variances, when people had these rare bre… https://t.co/G2Eg4hhPqY— New Day (@New Day)1627473137.0
"Right," Walensky replied. “So we're asking everybody in those areas of orange and red to mask up. Here is the reason why — if you're a vaccinated person and you're in one of those areas, as you said, a sea of red, a sea of COVID, you have a reasonably high chance, if nobody is wearing a mask, to interact with people who may be infectious."
"Every 20 vaccinated people, one or two of them could get a breakthrough infection," she added. "They may only get mild disease, but we wanted them to know that they could bring that mild disease home. They could bring it to others."
Who are the "others"? One would assume that she's referring to people 12 and older who have chosen not to receive the vaccine — the very people for whom vaccinated folks like Berman don't want to have to "pay the price." They've chosen to go unvaxxed, let them deal, the thinking goes.
If Walensky's referring to kids, then she has some explaining to do: During that same interview, HotAir's Allahpundit noted, she admitted that the CDC has no evidence that the Delta variant is making children sicker than any prior variant.
Biden’s CDC Director on mask mandates for kids: “We don’t have any evidence” that the Delta variant makes kids sick… https://t.co/IEUzH7uV0j— RNC Research (@RNC Research)1627479184.0