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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.35 minutes to read.

The alarming rise in cases makes a compelling argument for a renewed full-court push to highlight the importance of vaccinations and utilize the full complement of public health strategies in America… Mask-wearing, even by the vaccinated, is a valuable strategy to limit transmission of the virus. The rise of the Delta variant clearly demonstrates that we are not in a post-pandemic world…

No one wants to go back to wearing masks again. But people are dying, and if we can’t voluntarily abide by the public health measures that we know to be effective at minimizing the spread of the pandemic, such as mask-wearing, state and federal mandates must be considered. We must deploy every method possible to reverse the current trend of infection. Continued social distancing, hand washing, increased testing — and yes mask-wearing — must be revisited to save lives and reduce suffering.

Some will say reinstating mask mandates only punishes the vaccinated. But that isn’t a persuasive reason for the CDC to not reinstate a mask mandate. Public health professionals are in the business of following the science, and right now the science clearly shows that COVID-19 is winning and will kill thousands more unless we do everything in our power to fight it.

Lyndon Haviland, DrPH, MPH, is a distinguished scholar at the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy. (Published in The Hill)

I’m fully vaccinated and have been for months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I don’t have to wear a mask. But here I am…

I have worn a mask since April 2020 because of the potential of me being infected and asymptomatic. I don’t want to harm others. I don’t want to possibly make others sick – or worse. I wanted to do my part to slow the spread, and I continue to do so.

Am I tired of wearing masks? Of course. But I view it as a small inconvenience for the greater good. It’s minimally invasive, and it could save lives. Yes, it’s a personal choice. Sure, masks aren’t mandated anymore. But for now, especially as variants continue to creep across the United States, I’m more comfortable sending a message that I care about others by wearing a mask than I am about my own actual comfort.

Suzette Hackney, USA Today

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.50 minutes to read.

With COVID cases in the country rising as the Delta variant spreads, the best thing political and public-health leaders can do is encourage the hesitant to get vaccinated. Yet many are instead undermining confidence in the shots, which have proven overwhelmingly effective against the new strain.
That’s the message sent by calling for — and in some cases instituting — a return to mask mandates, even for the vaxxed…

The panic is completely unwarranted. Yes, Delta is about 50 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant, and it now accounts for more than 80 percent of cases here. But as White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted Monday, 99.5 percent of those being hospitalized for or dying from COVID are unvaccinated…

Indeed, the data on Delta are “reassuring,” Drs. Leslie Bienen and Monica Gandhi wrote in The Wall Street Journal. Delta cases actually correlated with lower COVID hospitalization rates. And calling for kids to mask up is ridiculous, Delta or no…

As Biden rightly notes, “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.” He should rein in Fauci and his other allies undermining vaccine confidence: 90 million eligible Americans still haven’t gotten a jab, and their lives may depend on it.”

Editorial Board, NY Post

The Delta variant is estimated to be more than twice as transmissible as the original Covid strain that emerged from Wuhan… Previously infected individuals appear to be more susceptible to re-infection by the Delta variant, which could explain some of the rising cases. The Pfizer vaccine is also estimated to be 10% to 30% less effective at preventing symptomatic illness, which means more infections among the vaccinated…

But none of this is cause for Covid panic or more lockdowns. Vaccines are still highly effective at preventing severe illness… Most vaccinated people with new infections—such as the five Texas Democratic state lawmakers who fled to Washington, D.C., last week—experience cold-like symptoms.

But Covid was always destined to become endemic. As with other viruses, the hope is that as it mutates it will become less deadly even if it becomes more contagious. The policy goal all along has been to minimize Covid’s impact on society and the healthcare system with vaccines and testing—not to eradicate it. Covid cases will flare up here and there, but they are manageable…

Continuing quarantine mandates on non-symptomatic vaccinated people will prevent a return to normalcy. So will re-imposing mask mandates… Personal prudence is fine, and people can calibrate their own risk tolerance.

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal