Rep. McMorris Rodgers slams CDC’s new mask guidance, claims it ‘undermines vaccine confidence’

Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers

SPOKANE, Wash. — Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) released a statement claiming the Centers for Disease Control’s updated guidance on masking “undermines vaccine confidence.” 

The CDC on Tuesday recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with “substantial” and “high” transmission of COVID-19. The updated guidance comes as the Delta variant rages across the United States. 

A week ago, the CDC said the Delta variant makes up an estimated 83 percent of new coronavirus cases in the U.S, with the majority of those cases being in unvaccinated people. 

In its new guidance, the CDC also recommended that localities encourage all teachers, staff, students and visitors in schools to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

In her statement, McMorris-Rodgers, who is vaccinated, claimed mask mandates are for “command and control” and “will not build trust – only resentment.” 

“Specifically regarding children, we know that children are at low-risk for COVID-19. They’ve suffered enough and need to be back in school, in-person, five days a week. Before masks are mandated, public health officials must listen to parents like me who are concerned about the harms of masks to kids’ mental health and their emotional and social development, especially the harms to young children and those with developmental disabilities. The overall well-being of our kids must be a priority,” McMorris Rodgers said. 

While the risk of COVID causing severe illness and hospitalization in children is typically lower, children are at no lesser risk of catching the virus, especially since a vaccine has not yet been approved for use in children under 12. 

The Spokane Regional Health District is encouraging people to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, but have not yet issued a mask mandate.

4 News Now has also reached out to Spokane Public Schools for information on their plans for possible mask requirements this fall. 

RELATED: CDC will recommend everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask – regardless of vaccination status – in new guidance

READ: CDC reverses course on masks in areas where virus is surging; schools included in new guidance

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