The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) became the focus of unusual scrutiny from multiple liberal media outlets following its reversal on mask-wearing guidance for those vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“It is not a welcome piece of news that masking is going to be a part of people’s lives who have already been vaccinated,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters Tuesday as she updated the official guidance that all individuals in high-risk zones should wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. “This new guidance weighs heavily on me.”
Prior to the rollout of the new guidance, the CDC previously recommended that fully vaccinated individuals not be required to wear masks, however, then decided to make the change citing the rapid spread of the new Delta variant of the virus.
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Liberal media outlets CNN and The New York Times pounced on the CDC’s shift, describing its messaging as “confusing,” while one critic suggested it was misleading.
“I think the guidance is right, but I think their messaging is awful,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner said in an appearance on the liberal network.
He went on to accuse the CDC of changing the guidelines to force unvaccinated people to get the vaccine and start using masks again, rather than the reason they gave of potential increased risk of spreading the Delta variant between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
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Reiner also took to social media to express his disapproval of the CDC’s guidance, declaring again that the CDC’s messaging was “astonishingly bad,” and saying their suggestion on “rare transmission” between vaccinated and unvaccinated people was “so wrong.”
The New York Times went after the CDC’s shift in recommendations in their Wednesday Morning Newsletter, referring to its messaging as “confusing,” and writing that it had “both a polarization problem and a communication problem.”
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The liberal “Paper of Record” claimed that another CDC announcement wouldn’t change the resistance from people in the high transmission areas of the virus to getting a vaccine or wearing a mask and that the new guidance would do the most good in places that didn’t need it.
“Much of this reality is beyond the C.D.C.’s control. The country was polarized long before Covid. But the C.D.C. has not maximized its chances of being heard, either,” the newsletter read. “Its announcement of the new guidelines was both vague and technical, making it hard for many nonexperts to understand. The agency did not make clear which parts of the country were affected or how that might change in coming days.”
The newsletter also criticized the Biden administration, saying that it “added to the confusion” by telling staff members they would need to begin wearing masks, despite Washington, D.C. not falling into the category of a high transmission area.
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Other media figures also questioned the shifting CDC guidelines with former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb telling CNBC that the new guidance would have a “negligible impact.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald said that “you know there’s a problem” when “authority-revering CNN is starting to notice and say that the CDC’s manic shift’s in guidance don’t seem to make sense.”