While many people were ecstatic that the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines could mean a step toward returning to a normal life, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow found an issue with the new CDC recommendation and stereotyped unmasked Americans as "threats."
"If you're vaccinated, it's OK to take off your masks now, indoors and out," Maddow said of the CDC's new coronavirus guidance, and then asked her liberal audience, "Really? Are you sure? How sure are you?"
"This is a big change," the leftwing cable host said on Thursday's "The Rachel Maddow Show." "We're going to have changing norms, and we have to give each other space to have feelings as we go through what's going to be a big change that's going to create a lot of visceral reaction in a lot of us just in our day-to-day lives. Just big day, big change."
Maddow then explained how the unmasking of fully vaccinated Americans would affect her personally.
"Part of it is that I feel like I'm going to have to rewire myself so when I see somebody out in the world who doesn't have a mask I don't instantly think, 'You are a threat,'" Maddow declared. "Or, 'You are selfish' or, 'You're a COVID denier and you definitely haven't been vaccinated.' I mean, we're going to have to rewire how we think about each other because the CDC's guidance."
"That means as we change as a country we're going to look at each other differently and unwire our preconceptions about what a mask or lack of a mask means," Maddow said.
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Maddow interviewed CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during her show, where the TV host again talked about her trepidations about the new guidelines from the health agency.
"I am very nervous about what you said today. It is hard for me to imagine myself, you know, waltzing into the Stop and Shop tomorrow morning and not wearing a mask," Maddow told Walensky. "I just feel I'm not wired that way anymore and it still feels – it still feels risky."
Walensky responded to Maddow by telling her to believe the science.
"There's an extraordinary amount of evidence now that demonstrates the vaccines are working in the real world, in cohort studies, in care facilities, across all states, that these vaccines are working the way they worked in the clinical trials," Walensky told the cable talk show host. "Importantly, there's also new data just even in the last two weeks that demonstrates these vaccines are working against the variants that we have circulating here in the United States, and also data has emerged that has demonstrated that if you are vaccinated, you are less likely, not likely to asymptomatically shed the virus and give to it others."
"So, it is this coalescing of all the evidence now that tells us really, it is safe to take off your mask," the health official said.
Maddow acknowledged, "The previous CDC guidance on where and whether Americans can safely take off their masks was honestly really confusing and hard to explain."
Maddow isn't the only MSNBC host questioning the CDC. Joy Reid previously said that she won't listen to the experts and will continue to wear two face masks while jogging despite being fully vaccinated.