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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Douglas Andrews / May 14, 2021

CDC Grants ‘Permission’ to Unmask

Not that anyone still listens to the much-maligned agency, but it’s finally “allowing” us to ditch the masks.

For the government, it’s been about power. For businesses, it’s been about liability. And for Joe Biden, it’s been about looking consistently ridiculous whether indoors, outdoors, or on a Zoom call. But in any case, yesterday marked the practical end of a yearlong pseudoscientific face-diaper folly.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance — whether indoors or outdoors in most circumstances,” NBC News reports.

“We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines and our understanding of how the virus spreads, that moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated.”

Good riddance. But what on earth took these dullards so long? As we’ve noted repeatedly, and as Mark Alexander has documented in our comprehensive COVID-19 resource page, the mask guidance should’ve been rescinded last May, concurrent with the firing of Tony Fauci, whose flip-flopping advice has been almost comical. “There is no reason for anyone right now in the United States, with regard to coronavirus, to wear a mask,” the not-so-good doctor said last February. “I think there’s this misperception that wearing a mask, even if you were in an area where there was transmission, is going to absolutely protect you.” That was before he eventually recommended wearing two masks.

The science behind the masking requirement has always been dubious. With the exception of N95 respirators and surgical masks, their effectiveness is somewhat akin to putting up a chain-link fence to keep the mosquitoes away. And for school-age children, who’ve never been at any great risk from COVID-19, the masking requirement has been unnecessarily burdensome from the get-go.

As The Federalist’s Ben Domenech wrote, “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.”

As of this writing, Biden’s dithering CDC, which earlier this week was outed for having used bogus statistics to prop up its outdoor masking guidelines, still requires masks for those traveling on buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. But if it’s not too much trouble, we’d like to see the agency update its guidance on children in school and summer camps most ricky-tick.

Speaking of the CDC, what will be its special guidance to the fully vaccinated Joe Biden? We ask because the president has continued to send mixed messages by wearing at least one mask wherever he goes, indoors or out, even at his own virtual climate summit.

Why does he do it? As the Daily Wire’s Mairead McArdle reports, “White House Senior Advisor for Coronavirus Response Andy Slavitt on Thursday answered a question that has dogged the Biden administration lately, saying President Biden wears a mask indoors ‘because he’s a very important person.’”

Ah, he’s important.

Regardless of what Biden does, though, his statist handlers have a message for the rest of us. They tweeted it yesterday on his behalf, and it sounds a lot like an ultimatum. “The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do. The choice is yours.”

Huh? That’s not a rule, Joe, and it’s not an either/or choice. It’s a bizarre bit of condescension, and it’s unbecoming of a U.S. president.

While Biden practices his heavy-handed statism, one leader is, as usual, ahead of the game. As the New York Post reports, “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will pardon anyone in the Sunshine State charged for not wearing masks or socially distancing — breaking the news live on air to a gym-owning couple who were facing jail time for defying coronavirus safety recommendations.”

Good for Governor DeSantis, and good for Liberty. (This while a New York father is facing 90 days in prison for refusing to wear a mask at his kid’s outdoor baseball game.)

Just over two weeks ago, in a piece that pondered the ridiculousness of the CDC’s masking mandates, our Nate Jackson asked, “When’s the mask burning party?”

Hey, we get results.

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