To date, about 43 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 29 percent have received both doses of the two vaccines that require double shots. According to a New York Times database, the United States has an average of 55,000 new cases per day, a decrease of around 20 percent from two weeks ago.
“I know the quarantine and shutdowns were stressful during the pandemic,” said Dr. Walensky. “I know we all miss the things we did before the pandemic, and I know we all want to do the things we love, and soon. Today is another day when we can take a step back to normal. “
Her remarks and those of the president have even been welcomed by some of the Biden administration’s fiercest Republican critics in Congress, many of whom have complained that the coronavirus restrictions are an encroachment on their personal freedoms.
“The time has come,” said Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, recently named Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease specialist, angry at a hearing on Capitol Hill. “When do we get the rest of our freedoms back?”
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who promoted marginal theories and gave vaccine skeptics a platform, said the guidelines were “long overdue.”
Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas who stopped wearing masks indoors after being vaccinated, said he was “glad the CDC finally recognized what has long been apparent, namely that wearing a mask outside is stupid and not science is remotely justified. “
In fact, the science behind the CDC’s new guidelines is not comprehensive. A growing body of research shows that the likelihood of the virus spreading outdoors is far less than indoors, but that the risk is non-zero and difficult to quantify.