The most recent CDC mask guidance came in late April, when federal health officials said fully vaccinated Americans could drop their masks when exercising, dining and socializing outdoors in small groups, as well as when gathering indoors with other fully vaccinated people.
The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose — either two weeks after the second dose of vaccines from Moderna Inc. or Pfizer, or two weeks after receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Some Republican senators pressed Walensky on the agency’s guidance for fully vaccinated people at a hearing Tuesday, with Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, expressing concern about the pace at which CDC was releasing recommendations.
“The American people have just lost patience with us, with you guys,” Cassidy said. “I just ask you to kind of be aware of their frustration and get a little real time into updating these things.”
Biden has steadily delivered a more optimistic tone on the pandemic, while warning regularly that the U.S. isn’t yet out of the woods. He has launched what he calls a “new phase” of the vaccination program, which emphasizes rural clinics, pharmacies and mobile sites instead of mass vaccination clinics, as demand begins to dry up.
He is scheduled to deliver remarks on the Covid-19 response and the vaccination program later this afternoon.