A journalist ripping how the Steele dossier was covered, the White House saying it would work with Facebook to flag ‘misinformation’ on COVID-19, and Rep. Jim Clyburn getting Four Pinocchios for his voter ID claim round out today’s media headlines.
MSNBC medical contributor Dr. Kavita Patel praised Los Angeles health officials on Friday following the city’s decision to reinstate mask mandates for indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.
In contrast to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Patel argued everyone should be held to the same standards, regardless of vaccination status, because people couldn’t be trusted to follow different rules. Despite touting the vaccines as effective and imploring more people to get vaccinated, she downplayed the desire of vaccinated people to not be forced to adhere to additional restrictions, asking “Morning Joe” host Willie Geist, “What is the harm … to wear a mask indoors?”
“One word: vaccination,” Patel said after Geist asked her what would change the upward trajectory of coronavirus cases in the U.S. “I think that it’s incredibly clear that the vaccines that we have are effective … What we’re trying to do is just reach a goal where a majority of people … are vaccinated and it protects the unvaccinated.”
Patel predicted that if more people weren’t vaccinated then the country would continue to see “rolling waves” of the virus in unvaccinated pockets around the country. She openly disagreed with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who has said her organization is not recommending vaccinated people wear masks indoors.
“I will just take a difference with the CDC director, obviously she’s much more in the data than I am, but there’s no harm in talking about high-risk settings like indoors where multiple people who are not vaccinated might gather with vaccinated people and just having everyone follow the same rules,” Patel said. “Because what we’re seeing right now, Willie, is that people aren’t doing it. We’re kind of trusting everyone, and I don’t see a reason to do that.”
Patel claimed that more areas were susceptible to rollbacks in restrictions in addition to Los Angeles, especially places with low vaccination rates.
“I really do praise the public health officials [in Los Angeles]. They’re sticking their necks out on the line. They’re not popular people these days,” Patel added, before citing examples of other countries rolling restrictions back into place. “They have put back in indoor masks, and it’s simply for this reason: vaccines do protect us. They protect us from hospitalization and death as we’ve said.”
“What is the harm when you’re with strangers to wear a mask indoors? Especially in close contact settings. Why are we taking a risk that we don’t need to take when we have a very simple preventative measure for now until we get more people vaccinated, and that’s really the bottom line,” she said.