CDC faces more backlash after new reported recommendations for 'better' masking

UniqueThis 48 Tue at 1:29 PM

Americans' frustration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was already at a boiling point before a new Washington Post report revealed the agency is about to recommend heavier masking for the coronavirus.

The CDC has been blasted for misleading guidance in recent weeks, notably its confusing update on the amount of time those infected should quarantine and the efficacy of rapid testing. The agency was previously hit for changing guidance on masking, and it continued to add to the confusion this week after a report read that the agency would recommend people opt for N95 or KN95 masks for protection against the highly contagious omicron variant. 

Coronavirus prevention face mask protection N95 masks and medical surgical masks at home.

Coronavirus prevention face mask protection N95 masks and medical surgical masks at home. (iStock)

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"The agency is currently actively looking to update its recommendations for KN95 and N95 in light of omicron," an official told the Post. "We know these masks provide better filtration."

Some Twitter users blasted the CDC for being almost two years "late" with the news. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives an opening statement during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and new emerging variants at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. January 11, 2022.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives an opening statement during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and new emerging variants at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. January 11, 2022. (Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS)

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Prominent health experts like Dr. Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, questioned both the agency's delay and direction.

"What's the delay, @CDCgov?" she tweeted. "Recommending high-quality masks should have done many months ago."

Nurse Ray Akindele processes COVID-19 rapid antigen tests at a testing site in Long Beach , Calif., Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Nurse Ray Akindele processes COVID-19 rapid antigen tests at a testing site in Long Beach , Calif., Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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The second round of criticism came from those who believe the new masking is unnecessary and another bureaucratic overreach.

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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has chalked up the CDC's fluctuating health guidance to simply following the science. But her explanation hasn't stopped even mainstream media from asking her why Americans should "trust" the agency.


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