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April 27, 2021

Take Off the Mask

At least when you’re outside, and especially if you’re vaccinated, it’s long past time.

Maybe it’s just us, but the biggest question on our minds right now is, “When’s the mask burning party?”

Last week, we pondered “To Mask or Not to Mask,” which dealt with the conflicting information about the effectiveness of masks. President Joe Biden, who inexplicably even wears a mask on Zoom calls, is expected to announce new guidelines today, including an answer to the question of wearing masks outside: It’s not necessary any longer. It really never has had much benefit outdoors, at least not for those without other risk factors, so we’re glad to see the Believe the Science™ crowd finally coming around.

Indeed, the CDC long ago said that “masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with people who live in your household.” Now, the DC bureaucrat who’s become the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Anthony Fauci, seems to be moving toward ditching masks, though why anyone still pays attention to him is beyond us.

Last spring, Fauci rejected masks. “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” he said at the time. That was before he flip-flopped and embraced them, even later saying that multiple masks were “more effective.” On Sunday, he shifted again: “What I believe you’re going to be hearing, what the country is going to be hearing soon, is updated guidelines from the CDC. The CDC is a science-based organization. They don’t want to make any guidelines unless they look at the data and the data backs it up. But when you look around at the commonsense situation, the risk is really low, especially if you’re vaccinated.”

On Monday, Fauci was even more certain: “I can again safely say that really, really soon we’re going to be seeing some guidelines that are going to be coming out from the CDC about the wearing of masks and vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals. The risk of infection outside is really minimum. If you’re vaccinated, and you’re outside, it’s even less.”

A blind squirrel found a nut.

Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who’s always been more sensible than Fauci, likewise said Monday, “We have the opportunity to bring more activities outside. We know activities outside are lower risk than things done indoors.” He added, “People could choose to wear a mask if they want to. I think there shouldn’t be requirements that they have to wear masks outdoors.”

As veteran journalist Brit Hume put it, “We’ve known that for a year or more. So why they’re just now getting around to saying we don’t need a mask outdoors … is something they could’ve said a long time ago … and I think a good many people believe it should have been done a long time ago.”

Frankly, if you’ve been vaccinated, there’s little to no reason to wear a mask, period. “Last week,” writes John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist, “the CDC said that of the 78 million Americans who at the time had been vaccinated (the number is now about 96 million) only 5,800 had subsequently caught COVID-19, or about 0.007 percent. Of those, 74 died, or about 0.00009 percent.”

Meanwhile, it’s also way past time for Biden to announce that the federal government is going to back off his various mandates related to “100 days of masking.” Let Americans make their own choices for themselves and their families.

Update 4/27: The Associated Press sums up the CDC’s new recommendations today.

Another update 4/28: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked to explain why Joe Biden wore a mask on a virtual all. “Because he is sending a message to the world that he is putting in place precautions and continuing to do that as leader of the United States,” she explained. Translation: It’s a virtue signal.

And a third update: Ben Domenech said, “the first 100 days of this administration” were replete with “an enormous amount of anti-scientific activity.” He declared, “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the moment he came out last year and said that we needed to shut down schools, he should have been fired.” Regarding the absurd masking mandates, he added, “When we look at this administration, the way they’ve treated this whole thing has amounted to a huge amount of theater, as opposed to actual science. When the president comes out with a mask over, and over, and over again, he sends the message implicitly that if you get vaccinated, nothing will change.”

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