DR Anthony Fauci has said that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask while outdoors, as the risk of being infected with Covid is unlikely.
The infectious disease expert told CBS’s This Morning 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 urged.
“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,” he added.
“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.
It comes as 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.
"You walked out to the podium with your mask on. Why do you choose to wear a mask so often when you're vaccinated and you're around others who are vaccinated?" the president was asked last week.
Appearing to be irked by the question, Biden snapped: "Because I'm worried about you."
The president then held up his hands and backtracked, saying, "No, that's a joke. It's a joke."
He continued: "Why am I wearing the mask? Because when we're inside it's still a good policy to wear the mask. That's why.
"When I'm outside — the problem is lots of times I walk away from the podium I forget to put my mask back on because I'm used to not wearing it outside."
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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