Opinion | A Divide Over the C.D.C.’s Revised Rules on Masks

“We should not be afraid to hear good news,” one reader writes. Others worry that the new guidance is premature.

To the Editor:

Re “Mask, or No? Much to Weigh in Latest Rules” (front page, May 16):

Lost in the chaotic responses to the C.D.C.’s revised guidance on mask wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated Americans is a fundamental distinction: “Following the science” is not the same as crafting responsible public policy.

Though well intentioned, and no doubt influenced by political and public pressures, the C.D.C. policy downplays the fact that a substantial majority of Americans are not yet fully vaccinated and cannot all be trusted to follow masking and social distance advice. It also places an unfair burden on businesses — and especially their frontline employees — to enforce masking policies. As we have seen, previous mask mandates have led to disruption and violence. Now, confusion is rampant.

Mandatory masking for mass transportation but not for concerts and other large indoor gatherings makes no sense. We worry about the under-12 population, who remain singled out for mask wearing — an unfair, potentially stigmatizing burden on youngsters.

The C.D.C. needs to return to the drawing board with a clearer focus on responsible public policies for all Americans.

Vicki L.W. Graff
Harvey J. Graff
Columbus, Ohio

To the Editor:

Re “Experts Expected Mandates on Masks to Stand for a Year” (news article, May 15):

The new C.D.C. guidelines that permit going without a mask for the fully vaccinated in most day-to-day activities in the United States are both welcome and surprising. According to your survey of hundreds of epidemiologists outside the C.D.C., they are no doubt surprised, too.

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