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CDC slams Texas for lifting COVID masks order amid vaccine optimism

Each White Home officers and the Heart for Illness Management and Prevention on Wednesday slammed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s transfer to elevate the state’s masks mandate — imploring Individuals to disregard science-snubbing elected officers as highly-contagious new COVID-19 variants threaten the combat in opposition to the virus.

“This complete nation has paid the value for political leaders who ignored the science in the case of the pandemic,” White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated at a press convention when requested about Texas and different states which have scrapped masks mandates. “We have to stay vigilant.”

She added, “The president’s place on mask-wearing is predicated on the suggestions of well being and medical consultants. … He’s  hopeful that folks in these states will proceed to observe the rules which were laid out.”

Her feedback got here a day after Texas lifted its masks order amid approval of Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccine —  and the announcement of an amped-up federal plan to get each grownup within the US vaccinated by the tip of Might.

However regardless of extra doses and vaccine success on the horizon, the CDC on Wednesday additionally criticized Texas for scrapping the masks order — insisting warning is required because the US reaches a “crucial nexus” within the pandemic.

An American flag face covering is displayed for sale amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the city on November 18, 2020 in El Paso, Texas.
An American flag face overlaying is displayed on the market amid a surge of coronavirus circumstances in El Paso, Texas, on Nov. 18, 2020.
Getty Photos

“We’ve got been very clear that now will not be the time to launch full restrictions,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a White Home briefing in reference to Texas.

“Each particular person is empowered to do the fitting factor right here, no matter what the states determine — for private well being, for public well being, for the family members of their communities.”

She added, “I might nonetheless encourage people to put on a masks.”

Walensky urged folks to not let pandemic “fatigue” cloud their judgment in the case of masking up.

“At this time we’re at a crucial nexus within the pandemic,” she stated. The [UK variant] looms able to hijack our successes to this point… all of the whereas we’re simply on the verge of capitalizing on historic scientific success,” she stated.

“Fatigue is successful and the precise measures we’ve taken to cease the pandemic at the moment are too usually being flagrantly ignored.”

“How this performs over the following three months is as much as us,” she stated, urging Individuals to proceed to, “put on a well-fitting masks, keep away from journey in crowds, and observe social distancing.”

On Tuesday, whereas saying that Texas would scrap its masks order, Gov. Abbott stated, “It’s time to reopen Texas 100%.”

North Dakota, Montana and Iowa have additionally lifted masks mandates in current weeks.

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