CDC Guidance Fallout: House, White House Reinstates Mask Mandates

Monahan went on to warn about the possibility of "long COVID," citing the fact that some local governments have already mandated or recommended masks in light of the delta variant.

CDC Guidance Fallout: House, White House Reinstates Mask Mandates - SurgeZirc US
CDC Guidance Fallout: House, White House Reinstates Mask Mandates / Photo credit: Getty Images

Attendance at the Capitol Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the delta variant of the coronavirus, physician Brian Monahan announced late Tuesday that the House of Representatives is reinstating its mask mandate and thus the threat of fines to members who do not comply.

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The White House also appears to be returning to mandatory masks. A White House press representative was seen Tuesday switching a sign that said people must wear masks if they are unvaccinated with another that said masks are required regardless of vaccination status.

The CDC announced on Tuesday that people who have been vaccinated and live in areas with high COVID-19 spread should wear masks indoors. Top officials had been teasing the announcement for days, and some activists had been calling for it for weeks.

The new recommendation is likely to result in a slew of new mask mandates across the country, and it has already done so in the United States Capitol.

“For the Congress, representing a collection of individuals traveling weekly from various risk areas both high and low rates of disease transmission, all individuals should wear a well-fitted, medical-grade filtration mask, for example, an ear loop surgical mask or a KN95 mask when they are in an interior space,” Monahan said.

This includes the House chamber, committee sessions, and all House office buildings, according to the attending physician. Only individuals who are actively speaking, seeking acknowledgment from a chair during a committee hearing or those who are alone in a room were named explicitly by Monahan.

“To be clear, for meetings in an enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space, masks are REQUIRED. Failure to wear a mask in the Hall of the House is subject to fines imposed for violation as contained in the previous House rule,” Monahan said.

In his letter, Monahan explained the reasoning behind the decision, which closely paralleled the reasoning used by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in her announcement Tuesday that the CDC would once again recommend masks for unvaccinated people.

“In the past two weeks, USA coronavirus cases have significantly increased, now approaching 100,000 cases per day. The Delta variant virus has been detected in Washington, DC and in the Capitol buildings,” Monahan said.

“It represents a dire health risk to unvaccinated individuals and is not without some risk to the vaccinated individuals or their unvaccinated household contacts.

“Despite the excellent protective value of the coronavirus vaccine in preventing hospitalization and death, there is still a possibility a fully-vaccinated individual could acquire infection in their nose and throat, mild symptoms, or the ability to transmit the coronavirus infection to others,” He added.

Monahan went on to warn about the possibility of “long COVID,” citing the fact that some local governments have already mandated or recommended masks in light of the delta variant.

Monahan went on to warn about the possibility of “long COVID,” citing the fact that some local governments have already mandated or recommended masks in light of the delta variant.

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“Information on the delta variant from several states and other countries indicate that in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others.

“This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations,” Walensky told reporters Tuesday.

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