JILL Biden joked as her and Jennifer Garner whipped of their masks after the official guidelines were changed.
"We feel naked," the first lady said when she greeted the actress in West Virginia on Thursday.
Garner, who was wearing a black dress, started the encounter wearing a mask, but swiftly removed it when she saw that the doctor was not.
Earlier today, the first lady was seen wearing a pink face mask as she departed Washington DC – prior to the Centers for Disease Control's announcement that vaccinated Americans don't need to wear masks indoors or outdoors unless they are on public transport or in healthcare settings.
The official decision means that two weeks after receiving a Covid vaccine, Americans can safely resume life with limited restrictions.
"If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic," the CDC said in a statement.
"The science is clear: if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic."
"You can shed your masks," added CDC Director Rochelle Walensky during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
The new CDC mask guidelines state:
- Two weeks past the last required COVID-19 vaccine dose, Americans no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors
- There will no longer be a need for fully vaccinated people to maintain social distancing
- This includes both small and large gatherings
- Masks must still be worn in healthcare settings, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters
- Mask must also be work in where required by laws, rules, and regulations such as public transport, airplanes, and trains
- This included places where it is required by local business and workplace guidance
- Vaccinated people can travel within the US without needing a test or being required to quarantine
The guidelines still call for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings such as buses, trains, planes, prisons, and homeless shelters.
Masks will also still be required in healthcare settings.
However, it would ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools.
Americans were advised that they will still need to follow regulations implemented by different local businesses and in various workplaces.
Those who come into contact with someone with Covid will not need to social distance or quarantine unless they also begin to show symptoms.
White House staff were reportedly emailed after the announcement and told they no longer need to wear a mask on the grounds if they are vaccinated.
First Lady Jill Biden was spotted without her mask shortly afterward.
The CDC had been criticized for its slow pace in rolling back the mask regulations, even as states began easing restrictions as vaccine distribution ramped up.
"Too little too late from the CDC," Trump's former White House Chief of Staff tweeted.
"The science has always been clear vaccinated people are protected, but the CDC spent months pretending otherwise—doing untold damage to small businesses, churches, children in school, and more.
"They played politics," he claimed.
On Thursday, the CDC cited three studies – one from Israel and two from the US – that show the Covid vaccine protects against the spread.
It advised those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so immediately and urged those who are vaccinated but develop Covid symptoms to wear masks again and immediately get tested.
The CDC also issued guidance on travel for vaccinated Americans.
No test or quaratine will be required for vaccinated people traveling within the US.
If traveling internationally, a test will only be needed if the destination country requires it.
A negative test will need to be shown before boarding to return to the US.
There is no longer a need to quaratine on returning to the US but it is advised to get a Covid test three to five days after international travel.
It comes just hours after Dr. Anthony Fauci said that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask while outdoors, as the risk of being infected with Covid is unlikely.
On Thursday, Fauci confirmed that unless a person is in an extremely crowded situation, no face covering is required.
He had been questioned by host Gayle King about the hesitancy that exists for some Americans to remove masks even after they have received both vaccine doses.
“We’ve got to make that transition,” Fauci told CBS’s This Morning. “If you are vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask outside.
“It would be a very unusual situation, if you were going into a completely crowded situation where people are essentially falling all over each other, then you wear a mask.
“But any other time, if you’re vaccinated and you’re outside, put aside your mask. You don’t have to wear it.”
King joked that “people are still judging” even after Fauci insisted a mask is no longer needed.
President Joe Biden has been pushed by reporters about his own inconsistent mask-wearing.
He has been accused of sending mixed messages to Americans about the requirements.
The CDC updated their guidelines last month to state that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in certain situations, such as when they are outside or in a room with other vaccinated individuals.
However, Biden, who is fully vaccinated, has been erratic and inconsistent in his embrace of the CDC's new policy.
Critics have accused him of hypocrisy for not "following the science" as Democrats so often preach.
On Thursday, the US opened up vaccinations to Americans 12 years and older.
It widens the vaccination program to another 17milllion people.
Fauci was questioned on CBS about the concerns that parents have about the potential long-term effects of the vaccine on their children.
“You don’t want to have the parents feel like they’re doing something wrong for questioning,” Fauci said.
“It’s a perfectly normal thing to be concerned about your children and question and that’s why you want to get them as much information as you can and be very open and transparent about the information.
“We are well into almost a year of people having received the vaccine and there are no long-term effects that anyone can notice,” he added of the testing the vaccines have received, adding that it’s “very important” for teens to receive a shot.
Fauci also addressed a recent tense exchange between himself and Senator Rand Paul over the origins of the coronavirus.
Paul had pressed Fauci during a Senate hearing on the pandemic response this week on a conspiracy theory that the virus was created in a lab in Wuhan, China.
“I don’t want to get into that tit for tat with him, I don’t know what the problem with him is,” Fauci told CBS of the clash.
"I’m just going to get on with my job and we’ll see what happens."
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