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Dr. Fauci and CDC chief Walensky say vaccines, not masks, are the weapon to fight Delta variant

Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky have said that getting vaccinated is more important than wearing a mask to combat the Indian Delta variant of COVID-19.

The two health experts spoke at a White House press briefing Thursday, amid a 10 percent spike in COVID cases nationwide and said that vaccinated residents are, in fact, protected from the variant and the WHO’s recommendations are meant for communities with low vaccination rates.

White House COVID tsar Fauci said, ‘You have a broad recommendation for the country as a whole that, if you are vaccinated, you have a high degree of protection so you need not wear a mask indoor or outdoor. 

‘But also as it’s been said and as the CDC has recommended, there’s a degree of flexibility. People at the local level, depending on the on-ground situation, will make recommendations or not according to the local situation.’ 

Furthermore, they said that it is more important for unvaccinated residents to get their shots to protect against the Delta variant as opposed to wearing face masks. 

Receiving one dose of a two-dose mRNA vaccine – those made by Pfizer and Moderna – is not believed to offer sufficient protection from the highly-infectious Delta variant. But completing the two dose vaccine is currently thought to offer around 96 per cent protection from serious illness as a result of a COVID infection. 

The Delta variant is now believed to account for a fifth of new COVID infections in the US, amid fears numbers could soon surge, especially in areas with low vaccination take-up.  

 Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recently said that vaccinations, not masks, are the tool to protect against the COVID Delta variant

Walensky spoke with TODAY co-anchor Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday to address confusion over masks in reference to the World Health Organization’s recommendations. 

Los Angeles County Health Department has urged even fully-vaccinated locals to begin wearing the face coverings indoors, although it has stopped short of making that advice mandatory.  

‘I think this is a very important thing to qualify,’ she said.’ We know that the WHO has to make guidelines and provide information to the world. Right now, we know as we look across the globe that less than 15 per cent of people around the world have been vaccinated, and many of those people have only received a one dose of a two-dose vaccine. There are places around the world that are surging, and so as the WHO makes those recommendations, they do so in that context.’ 

‘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 . . . those masking policies are not to protect the vaccinated, they’re to protect the unvaccinated.’

She later added, ‘If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States.’

A tweet from immunologist Trevor Bedford breaks down Delta cases – pictured in purple – by state, showing how quickly it has grown in Missouri, Colorado, Utah and Arkansas 

About 11 percent of the world has been inoculated compared to 47 percent of the American population, according to the CDC’s most recent data, dated June 30

About 11 percent of the world has been inoculated compared to 47 percent of the American population, according to the CDC’s most recent data, dated June 30. Nevertheless, some cities are suggesting that their residents begin wearing masks again despite many shedding their mask policies in May.

Los Angeles County public health officials advised even vaccinated people to mask up in indoor settings, despite the county being 60 percent vaccinated. The county, which is home to 10 million people, has averaged only five new coronavirus deaths per day over the last week and infection rates have risen slightly since the arrival of the Delta variant almost two months ago. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom only lifted the Golden State’s COVID restrictions on June 15. 

He is facing a recall that could cost him his job over his handling of the crisis, meaning he will be reluctant to reimpose any more draconian COVID measures.  

A chart created by breaks down COVID cases by state

The above chart created by reveals the number of deaths, per day, in June by COVID

The above chart created by reveals the number of infections, per day, in June by COVID

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