CBS anchor Gayle King called herself “so confused” Tuesday by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra as he sought to explain why vaccinated individuals should still wear masks outdoors.
On “CBS This Morning,” Becerra said, “The message is clear: You’re vaccinated, you get to return to a more normal lifestyle. If you’re not vaccinated, you’re still a danger, you’re still in danger as well, so get vaccinated.”
“I’ve often wondered, I’m outside, by myself, nobody’s around, why am I wearing a mask?” King asked Becerra. “If you’re vaccinated, do you have to wear a mask outside or you don’t have to wear a mask outside?”
“Well we weren’t born with masks, but we want to be safe and we want to protect our loved ones,” he said. “So that’s why we wear masks, right? We put on our seat belt, we don’t expect that we’re going to crash our car, but we want to be safe.”
King followed up with Becerra, saying she was “so confused.”
“Why do we have to do that if we’re vaccinated?” she said. “That’s why I’m so confused.”
Because, Becerra said, “you never know.” He added wearing a mask is meant to “encourage others” to follow your lead.
“We’ll get to the point where we’ll hang the masks on our wall as signs of what used to be,” Becerra added.
Becerra made similar comments on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” telling people to keep the masks on for now, and suggesting President Biden is one of the leaders Americans can look to because he has continued to mask up, despite being fully vaccinated.
“Continue to wear masks, even if you’re vaccinated is just one of those things where President Biden made it very clear and he’s showing by example, which is what you want in a leader,” Becerra said.
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci recently appeared to backpedal on the issue of mask wearing, telling ABC’s “This Week” that it’s “common sense” that the virus rarely spreads outdoors, teasing new CDC guidance on that matter.
“Particularly, I mean if you are a vaccinated person wearing a mask outdoors, I mean obviously the risk is minuscule,” Fauci said.
In spite of multiple studies previously showing outdoor transmission of the virus is extremely rare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention waited until Tuesday afternoon to release updated guidance on mask-wearing for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
It said vaccinated individuals could do things like attend small, outdoor gatherings with people without wearing masks, while it said those who are vaccinated should still wear them for crowded, outdoor gatherings like sporting events.
It continued to insist everyone, regardless of being vaccinated, wear masks at indoor places like restaurants and hair salons.