‘They are to protect the unvaccinated’: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky weighs in on masks and the Delta variant

Coronavirus

“If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States.”

If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the contagious Delta variant that is spreading in the United States.

That’s the message Dr. Rochelle Walensky sent to the public on Wednesday during appearances on the “Today” show and “Good Morning America.”

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided her guidance to the public after the World Health Organization recommended everyone — including fully vaccinated individuals — wear masks to stop the spread. On Monday, Los Angeles County also recommended everyone, including vaccinated individuals, wear masks indoors in public places due to the circulating Delta variant.

The World Health Organization, or WHO, is providing guidelines and information for the world, when across the globe, less than 15 percent of people have been vaccinated and most have only received one dose, Walensky said. At the same time, COVID-19 is surging in many places around the world.

“So as the WHO makes those recommendations, they do so in that context,” she told “Today.” “Here in the United States, we’re fortunate. We have three vaccines that we know are safe and effective. We have two-thirds of the adult population that is fully vaccinated and really quite protected from the variants that we have circulating here in the United States.”

But the CDC director said local policy makers should be making the guidelines for their local communities and individuals should be checking with the masking policies in their areas.

“There are areas of this country where about a third of people are vaccinated,” Walensky said. “They have low vaccination rates. And there are areas that have more disease in the context of people not being vaccinated. So in those areas, we have always said, ‘Please look, make suggestions.’ But those masking policies are not to protect the vaccinated, they are to protect the unvaccinated.”

Vaccinated individuals are believed to be safe from the Delta variant, she told “GMA.”

“If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States,” she said on “Today.”

Watch her full appearances below: 

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