White House considers urging vaccinated Americans to mask up in more places: report

Shoppers walk inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall in San Francisco, California, U.S. on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. California lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions Tuesday as part of a grand reopening in which the state will end capacity limits, physical distancing and mask requirements for those that are vaccinated.
Shoppers walk inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall in San Francisco, California, U.S. on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. California lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions Tuesday as part of a grand reopening in which the state will end capacity limits, physical distancing and mask requirements for those that are vaccinated. Photo credit David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, fueled by the easily-communicable delta variant, has prompted top White House aides and Biden administration officials to debate changing mask guidance to urge Americans -- even those who are vaccinated -- to wear masks in more settings, such as malls and movie theaters, according to The Washington Post.

The talks are in a preliminary phase. according to the report, which cited six people familiar with the discussions.

The desire to change the mask guidance may merely lead to "new messaging from top White House officials," according to the report.

But such conversations aren't only being held at the White House: officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are having their own discussions about updating mask guidance, a Biden administration aide and a federal health official told the Post.

Two people familiar with the discussions said getting both vaccinated and unvaccinated people who congregate in mixed public spaces, such as shopping malls and movie theaters, to mask up, has been one of the possibilities tossed around.

Any formal mask guidance would come from the CDC.

“At the White House, we follow the guidance and advice of health and medical experts,” said Kevin Munoz, assistant press secretary. “Public health guidance is made by the CDC, and they continue to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals do not wear a mask. If you are not vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask.”