According to a person familiar with the talks, senior officials rushed to go through the new data and evidence on the portability of the variant and breakthrough cases on Sunday evening. An announcement could be made as early as Tuesday, although a person warned it could happen later this week.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the mask guidelines two months ago, which said most fully vaccinated people could do without masks indoors, the guidelines went so fast that administrative officials were notified less than a day before. This time the process is more methodical as you decide how to go about it.
CDC did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
White House officials have repeatedly stated that it is up to the CDC to change the official guidelines and that they will follow instructions from health and medical experts. The government’s renewed discussions on mask recommendation review revolve around what messages to mask the White House should be offered and what guidance the CDC should issue, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief Covid-19 medical advisor and director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that the revision of the mask guidelines for vaccinated Americans is “actively being considered” and that he is part of the discussion . Fauci also said the US is “going in the wrong direction” as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, particularly among unvaccinated Americans.
President Joe Biden said last week that two dozen members of his Covid response team were investigating the surge in cases and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated and determining whether new mask recommendations were needed.
Officials in several locations, including Los Angeles, have been forced to revert to previous mask requirements as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations among Americans who have refused to get vaccinated are returning to previous masking requirements amid rising cases falling by the delta variant can be triggered.
The Biden administration recently extended non-material travel restrictions on the US north and south borders through August 21. The US has not restricted material travel restrictions along both borders since the beginning of the pandemic and has increased those restrictions on a monthly basis.
This story has been updated with additional background information.