Fauci says fully vaccinated people 'might want to consider' wearing a mask indoors as a precaution against the Delta variant
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a face mask. AP Photo / Susan Walsh, Pool
Fully vaccinated Americans might "consider" indoor masks, said Dr. Fauci.
Fauci said the Delta variant had "an exceptional ability to transmit from person to person".
More fully vaccinated Americans are getting COVID-19, albeit with milder or no symptoms.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US doctor, said fully vaccinated people might "consider" wearing masks indoors to protect themselves from the variant delta coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly across the country.
Dr. Fauci, the senior medical advisor to President Joe Biden, told CNBC on Wednesday, “If you want to go the extra mile of safety even though you have been vaccinated indoors, especially in crowded places, consider wearing a mask. "
Fauci explained that wearing a mask indoors was "recommended" when a virus was spreading rapidly in a community.
The Delta variant is more contagious and has mutations that help it avoid the body's immune response. As it spreads in the United States, more fully vaccinated Americans are developing COVID-19 - albeit with milder or no symptoms.
"This virus is very different from the viruses and variants that we have previously experienced. It has an exceptional ability to transmit from person to person," said Fauci.
The Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks except in certain situations, such as on flights.
States, workplaces and companies can enforce their own mask rules.
Read more: Experts Explain Why mRNA Technology That Revolutionized COVID-19 Vaccines Could Be The Answer To Incurable Diseases, Heart Attacks And Even Snakebites: "The Possibilities Are Endless"
The health authority has come under pressure in recent weeks to revise its guidelines due to the emergence of the delta variant, which is at least 50% more contagious than the formerly dominant alpha variant.
Delta now accounts for 83% of all new infections in the United States. The nation recorded 52,032 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Jerome Adams, former surgeon general, said Sunday that "the emerging data suggests the CDC should advise cheating and masking it." The World Health Organization said on June 26 that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in public places.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 161 million Americans are fully vaccinated, or 48% of the population.
Some states have already urged fully vaccinated citizens to put their masks back on.
The Los Angeles County Health Department announced on June 28 that it "strongly recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks as a precautionary measure indoors in public places," citing the more infectious Delta variant.
Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas, reintroduced indoor mask requirements for all workers on Wednesday.
Despite his views on masks, Fauci said that "the easiest, best, and most effective way to prevent a new variant from emerging and destroy the existing Delta variant is to vaccinate everyone."
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is 88% effective in preventing COVID-19 with symptoms caused by the Delta variant, according to real UK data released on Wednesday.
In the US, 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths are unvaccinated. "This is a statistic that speaks for itself," said Fauci.
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American immunologist and head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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