July 28, 2021 US coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0323 GMT (1123 HKT) July 29, 2021
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8:25 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

CDC mask guidance change was prompted by new science, director says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN’s John Berman on New Day Wednesday that CDC’s mask guidance change was prompted by science only days old that showed vaccinated people with breakthrough Delta infections can pass the virus to others. More information will be published in the coming days, she said.

Walensky first emphasized that the vaccines are working exactly as it was thought that they would with the Delta variant by preventing hospitalization and death, adding that “we should be getting vaccinated to prevent severe disease in ourselves and to protect ourselves from the Delta variant and from getting severe Covid.” 

“Here’s the new science that we saw just in the last several days,” she said. “With prior variants, when people had these rare breakthrough infections, we didn’t see the capacity of them to spread the virus to others, but with the Delta variant, we now see in our outbreak investigations that have been occurring over the last couple of weeks, in those outbreak investigations we have been seeing that if you happen to have one of those breakthrough infections, that you can actually now pass it to somebody else.” 

“That was the new science that prompted the guidance,” she said. “And, you know, it weighed heavily. I know this is not a message America wants to hear.”