Nearly two years into the mess wrought by COVID-19, the CDC essentially admitted that cloth masks do “the least” to protect from the virus as President Joe Biden, who still avoids answering questions, again began pushing the wearing of masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued its often confusing directives with an update to its mask guidance on Friday, explaining that disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer the most protection against COVID-19 and its variants while “loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection.”
“Masks and respirators (i.e., specialized filtering masks such as “N95s”) can provide different levels of protection depending on the type of mask and how they are used,” the CDC said.
“Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection,” the updated guidelines read.
Masks + vaccines + boosters = best protection against #Omicron.
— CDC (@CDCgov) January 14, 2022
Reactions on social media were predictably mixed but many criticized the agency for the latest update nearly two years into the pandemic.
You’re a tad late with this information.
— Anthony Quintano (@AnthonyQuintano) January 15, 2022
We’ve blown it for 2 years, but believe us THIS time!
— Duke Santoski (@unashamedusa) January 15, 2022
I guess this is better than nothing, but seems like a messaging fail by the CDC. No mention of KF94 which are very popular and you have to read a wall of text to find that a cloth mask isn’t as good as a N95 mask. Need better PR at the CDC, stat. Why are we so bad at this still? https://t.co/ijvdwD7zWi
— Jeff Luszcz (@jeffluszcz) January 15, 2022
Meanwhile, the president announced that face masks and at-home Covid tests will be made available “for free” soon to Americans.
Next week, my administration will announce how we are making high-quality masks available to the American people for free.
They are an important tool to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially Omicron.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 13, 2022
As the nation looks at nearly two years of living with COVID-19 and all of its variants, the president pushed the wearing of masks but ignored reporters’ questions about the virus and his administration’s response.
“Mr. President, do you have a message for vaccinated Americans who are wondering why they should continue to restrict their activities given your health officials say most Americans will get COVID at some point?” asked one reporter as the press was directed out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building where Biden had just delivered scripted comments.
“Folks, let’s talk about that later,” Biden replied. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Why should Americans trust your administration to beat COVID when the virus is still here, sir?” another asked.
“How much longer do you think the schools will have to wear masks, sir?” the reporter added as another shouted a question: “Mr. President, do you believe Omicron is the beginning of the end of this pandemic?”
“Maybe a press conference soon, Mr. President? We’d look forward to that,” one of the press pool members asked.
But Biden looked blankly ahead, and then appeared to be smiling as he looked down, never answering one question he was peppered with.
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