Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration head, has advised the government to relax COVID-19 restrictions. With coronavirus cases dropping and the number of vaccinated people rising, the administration can remove the mask mandate for people indoors, suggested Gottlieb.
In an interview with CNBC, Gottlieb stated how the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention can begin the process of removing the mask mandate “right about now.” The number of coronavirus cases has seen a decline fueled by the increasing number of vaccinations each day.
With such a situation in play, authorities should loosen up the restrictions that had been imposed to curb the virus. He suggests the possibility of a surge of coronavirus cases in winter and if that were to happen, the authorities would have to reimpose all social distancing measures. Hence, Gottlieb argues about how the present situation is well enough to withstand relaxed COVID-19 measures.
Moreover, Gottlieb also highlights the importance of establishing the credibility of public health experts. He suggests the only way earn credibility in the eyes of the public is “to demonstrate that you’re willing to relax these provisions,” when the situation improves, which it has, said former FDA head.
Despite Gottlieb’s resolute stance on the matter, the CDC still stands by its initial advice on the matter. CDC is still urging Americans to stick by their masks in indoor settings, regardless of their vaccination status.
According to the CDC and several other health experts, indoor settings are more of a controlled environment and the risk of transmission is significantly higher as compared to outdoor settings. In addition, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky has added how masks are imperative in indoor settings because not everyone has received the jab, and “it’s very hard to tease apart who is vaccinated.”
Gottlieb isn’t the only health official to declare mask-wearing as an unnecessary precaution. Dr Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore, expressed her thoughts while speaking with The Washington Post. She took the example of President Biden’s Congress address and argued that attendees could have easily forgone their masks. Moreover, she called out Biden for losing a golden opportunity to tell people to leave their masks at home, making them realize that these vaccines are indeed effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.