House Republicans Press CDC on Mask Mandates

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky Wednesday seeking clarification on the agency’s masking guidance for COVID-19.

The letter, led by Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, expresses concern over the CDC’s recent flip-flop on mask guidance undermines the American peoples’ confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and public public health, the committee’s Republicans said. The member argue the CDC is not using the best available science to form its guidance, and is instead playing to “fear.”

The CDC changed its guidance in July to recommend that even vaccinated individuals wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The agency is also recommending that all K-12 kids wear masks when they return to school.

“We are particularly concerned with how the CDC put case reports and data in context, whether the CDC is considering other data that may suggest vaccinated people do not present the same transmissibility risk after infection as unvaccinated people, and that the CDC is apparently ignoring other considerations relevant to children,” the lawmakers’ letter reads. “COVID-19 and the new Delta variant present significant health challenges for our country, but it is incumbent upon us to ensure public health decisions are made based on science and data, not fear.”

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