President Biden’s former COVID-19 advisor and top epidemiologist has warned ‘that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective’.
Michael Osterholm spoke with CNN saying that people need to start wearing N95 respirators which are more effective against COVID-19.
‘We’re in a very unfortunate situation, we’ve really brought this country to a point of confusion which really misses the main point that we should be focusing on vaccine, vaccine, vaccine.’
The director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, explained his contention with the term ‘masking’ saying, ‘You know I wish we could get rid of the term masking because in fact it implies that anything you put in front of your face works and if I could just add an nuance to that which hopefully doesn’t add more confusion is we know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out.’
Michael Osterholm explained that he dislikes the term masking as it suggest that any face covering will protect from the spread of Covid-19 which is not accurate
He wants there to be a ‘better handle on what does protect people and what doesn’t’ reiterating that the vaccine should be main the focus to prevent the spread
Osterholm suggest that people wear N95 respirator masks to stop the spread of the virus
Giving an example he pointed to the smoke pollution that is drifting through the Midwest. ‘Either you’re breathing out or you’re breathing in and in fact if you’re in the upper Midwest right now anybody who’s wearing their face cloth covering can tell you they can smell all the smoke that we’re still getting.’
‘We need to talk about better masking. We need to talk about N95 respirators which would do a lot for both people who are not yet vaccinated or are not previously infected. Protecting them as well as keeping others who might become infected having been vaccinated from breathing out the virus.’
‘So I think one of the things right now is we gotta get a better handle on what does protect people and what doesn’t.’ While N95 respirator masks are the most effective masking option, the most effective defense against Covid-19 are the vaccines.
The CDC has been criticized for its confusing stance on masks after it reversed its mask guidelines. But cities and states say they need to see the evidence before revising their own policies.
Federal officials say unpublished data showed vaccinated people infected with Covid-19 may be able to transmit the virus, leading them to recommend that everyone should wear a mask indoors in areas of high transmission.
The guidelines revolving around mask have continuously changed over the past year and a half as federal and local governments struggle to set mandates
Infections of Covid-19 are spiking across the country as the Delta variant continues to spread
As Americans are getting vaccinated, less people are dying from Covid-19
Republicans have poured doubt on the new findings and even Democratic-led cities say they won’t make changes without understanding the facts.
As the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread, Biden and some local governments are beginning to crack down on Covid-19 regulations including requiring vaccines for federal workers, New York City requiring vaccines for gym and indoor dining, and reimbursing businesses who provide leave for shots among other things.
President Joe Biden announced a series of new measures last week meant to boost vaccination rates in the federal workforce and around the country – as the Delta variant hospitalizes Covid patients and threatens the nation’s recovery.
Daily Covid-19 vaccinations have been decreasing as the Delta variant surges
Herd immunity has been determined to be reached at a 70 per cent vaccination rate
‘You want to know how we put this virus behind us? I’ll tell you how: We get more people vaccinated,’ Biden said in remarks at the White House Thursday.
He called for Americans to get their shots, for those who got a first dose to follow up, and for people to follow evolving government mask guidance.
‘With incentives and mandates, we can make a huge difference and save a lot of lives,’ Biden said about 19 minutes into his speech – using a term that vaccine opponents have turned into a rallying cry.
Biden acknowledged exploring the authority even amid pockets of opposition to much more mild regulations, such as wearing masks in indoor settings as a precaution.
The president also called on people to embrace the latest CDC guidance on mask-wearing. ‘I hope all Americans who live in areas with substantial or high case rates will follow the mask guidance that’s being laid down by the CDC. I certainly will and I have because this is one of those areas in Washington,’ he said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that customers will need to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, performances and gyms in New York City starting August 16.
The US currently has 35,170,544 coronavirus cases across the country
The US finally hit Biden’s self-imposed goal of 70 per cent of adults partly vaccinated four weeks late
Customers and workers will have to show proof that they’ve had at least one dose of a vaccine under plans to pressure New Yorkers to get a shot.
The policy will go into effect on August 16, but inspections and enforcement won’t begin until September 13, the week that the city’s public schools reopen for the fall.
It’ll fall largely on businesses to enforce the policy, and de Blasio claims it won’t be too different from a host guiding someone to a table or a box office clerk selling a ticket.
The announcement came just 24 hours after de Blasio broke from Governor Andrew Cuomo and said he would not bring back an indoor mask mandate in the city.
De Blasio said, ‘If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated. It’s time.’
He added, ‘This is a miraculous place full of wonders, and if you’re vaccinated, all of that is gonna open up to you.’
About 66 per cent of adults in New York City are fully vaccinated, with another 5.6 per cent partially vaccinated, according to official data.