For some weeks now, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky has been doubling down on demanding Americans continue wearing masks, adults and children alike, vaccinated or not. It doesn't look like Americans can expect that to change. On Friday, Walensky tweeted an "Ask An Expert" video of "Why Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask?"
Masks can help reduce your chance of #COVID19 infection by more than 80%.— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) November 5, 2021
Masks also help protect from other illnesses like common cold and flu. Wearing a mask- along w/ getting vaccinated- are important steps to stay healthy. #WeCanDoThis @HHSgov https://t.co/bfOV5VzBpq pic.twitter.com/6DGj8nwPgD
"The evidence is clear," Dr. Walensky insists. "Masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reducing your chance of infection by more than 80 percent." It doesn't just apply to the Wuhan coronavirus though, but the flu and even the common cold. "In combination with other steps, like getting your vaccination, hand-washing, and keeping physical distance, wearing your mask is an important step you can take to keep us all healthy."
Twitter did not take too kindly to that demand, as evidenced by the way in which Dr. Walensky's video message was massively ratioed.
Many replies and retweets amounted to calling "bullsh*t." Others pointed to how absurd it was that the common cold was included as a reason for mask-wearing.
This is a disastrously bad message for the CDC to be sending right now. Wear masks for cold and flu? Seriously?— David Ridley (@RidleyDM) November 5, 2021
Now we have to eliminate the common cold before unmasking, lol https://t.co/JZdvcTBhJH— John 'pro-norms' Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) November 5, 2021
As an extreme claustrophobe, wearing a mask is a huge struggle but I do it for the common good. The mission creep of this statement referencing colds and flu concerns me though. I fear the goal is that we will all be masked up forever.— Celtic Canuck (@celticcanuck3) November 5, 2021
“Masks also help protect from other illnesses like common cold and flu.”— Douglas Ritz?? (@douglasritz) November 5, 2021
We didn’t care for the last 100 years.
Some users pointed out that it's no longer sounding like such a crazy conspiracy theory to say that the powers that be want us to mask up forever.
I said they wanted masks forever and was called a conspiracy theorist— Sarah Beth Burwick (@sarahbeth345) November 5, 2021
Y’all thought after they approved vaccines for 5-11 they’d get rid of masks didn’t ya? ?????? They didn’t wait long to shoot down your hopes…nah, they want this to be a part of the new social contract they’re crafting and coercing, cause, ya know, Science™?— Jack Plimpton (@plimpton_jack) November 5, 2021
Rochelle is flat out lying because the CDC wants people to wear masks forever. https://t.co/DWcq8CRXQ1— suzy (@Suzy1776) November 6, 2021
Others said it amounted to misinformation, leading to a lack of credibility for the CDC.
Somebody sue the CDC over these fraudulent statements Enough’s enough.— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 5, 2021
And by “future” we mean a few months to a year from now because we already know this is completely false and it’s not too long before everyone realizes it— Sarah Beth Burwick (@sarahbeth345) November 6, 2021
My pediatrician put it perfectly this year. The CDC has lost all credibility this pandemic.— jenzmom (@jencludwig05) November 5, 2021
Many questioned where the 80 percent claim was coming from. One study that cites the 80 percent figure from was reported on right around the start of the pandemic, and before vaccines were available. Chris Westfall, in his article for Forbes from May 12, 2020 cites "research and scientific models from UC Berkley’s International Computer Science Institute and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology."
And, when it comes to vaccines, while testifying before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Walensky couldn't even tell Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is also a medical doctor, how many CDC employees have been vaccinated.
Even as Biden mandates vaccines for employers, his own CDC Director Rochelle Walensky can't even say how many CDC employees are vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/CmpSGCc2RY— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 4, 2021
Of course, Dr. Walensky and President Joe Biden told Americans in May that mask mandates could be relaxed for those who had been vaccinated.
This was made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans, so quickly. pic.twitter.com/gTwM6Tp7lF— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 13, 2021