CDC Lifts Mask Recommendations, Sparking Economic Optimism

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance says fully vaccinated people can now ditch their masks as a turning point in the U.S. fight against COVID and comes as U.S. caseloads fall and overall vaccinations rise. Tune in below for more insights from Bloomberg’s Ian Fisher.

Host: Ian it really does feel like a momentous occasion for the US, where perhaps some semblance of normalcy will return.

Fisher: Yeah, I mean, I think without a doubt, the most significant moment since the first vaccines were rolled out in December, and it took a lot of people by surprise. I mean, there weren’t that many people who were expecting this announcement until some rumblings earlier in the morning. But, you know, while this is in theory, not in theory, it’s being presented as a mask issue, you know, what’s really behind this is vaccines. Two things about them. One is that they work, you know, as you just heard, the CEO just saying, you know, case loads drop, you know, deaths or dropping hospitalizations are dropping quite significantly.

And the second thing is that, you know, there are fewer people are getting them. So there is a lot of pressure on President Biden to start showing some real concrete results to getting vaccinated. So if you can show, you know, some, you know, benefit to getting it, the hope is that more people will get it. And, you know, Biden was very clear about that in his tweet. He basically said, if you’re vaccinated, great, take off your mask if you do not wear it.

Host: Ian talk to me about these COVID zero havens that are actually finding the reopening harder. And what sort of, I guess, warnings or cautionary tale do they present to the rest of the world?

Fisher: Well, it’s hard to tell right now, you know, it’s kind of a case of good news in that, you know, these places, Hong Kong, Singapore, you know, Australia, new Zealand, they’ve done exceptionally well by being exceptionally aggressive in keeping the rest of the world out. So now the rest of the world has kind of come to a point where, you know, vaccines are working. They’re looking at reopening. But at the same time, the rest of the world has learned to accept a greater degree of risk than these places, you know, will accept. Now in the US, 30, 40000, you know, new cases a day. And I think if I think if, you know, these COVID zero places want to rejoin the rest of the world, they’re going to have to accept a larger degree of risk as well.

*Bloomberg contributed to this content

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