Fauci says it’s reasonable for businesses to keep face mask rules after new CDC guidance

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WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 19: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wears a protective mask during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. The White House held its first Coronavirus Task Force briefing in months as cases of COVID-19 are surging across the country ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s top infectious disease expert is acknowledging “confusion” after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in most instances, even indoors.

Dr. Anthony Fauci tells ABC News, “The problem and the issue is that we don’t have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and who’s not vaccinated.”

He says it is “reasonable and understandable” that some businesses and localities are maintaining mask requirements because they can’t be sure of an individual’s vaccination history. But he says it’s important to note those measures protect the unvaccinated from each other, and vaccines provide a high level of protection for those who have gotten them.

Fauci says children who are not vaccinated — including children under 12 who won’t be eligible for vaccines for months — should continue to wear masks indoors. But he says that recommendation could change as the CDC conducts more research and more Americans get shots.

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