Former FDA commissioner: New CDC mask guidance will likely have ‘negligible impact’ on curbing Delta variant

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned Wednesday that the latest CDC mask reversal could have a “negligible impact” on the spread of the Delta variant, telling CNBC that “we’re not going to get enough bang for our buck” by instructing those who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine to continue to mask up indoors.

The updated CDC guidance urges vaccinated people to wear masks in indoor public settings as part of a nationwide effort to curb the Delta variant as it rears its head in cities across the U.S.

While Gottlieb believes the recent spike in positive cases will likely dissipate in the coming weeks, he worries the CDC’s guidance will have a counterproductive impact by further dissuading those already on the fence about the vaccine.

Gottlieb did however emphasize that vaccinated people “need to be mindful” that they are still at risk of transmitting the virus, he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Instead, he argued, the guidance should be focused on encouraging symptomatic individuals to get tested and take necessary safety precautions, he explained.

“Much more prudent guidance to people would be that if you are vaccinated in a high prevalence area, in contact with [the] virus, you think you might have the virus because you have mild symptoms, be prudent, get tested, maybe wear a mask especially if you are around a vulnerable person,” he said.

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