Perspectives: Some Mask Mandates Return as Delta Variant Surges

Headline Roundup July 21st, 2021

The rise of the highly transmissible Delta variant, which the CDC says now accounts for over 83% of U.S. COVID-19 cases, has spurred a renewed discourse around vaccines and face masks. State and local governments have taken divergent approaches to renewing mask mandates; as Los Angeles County reinstated its indoor mask mandate, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed that there would “be no mask mandate imposed” in his state. While about 68% of American adults have received at least one vaccine dose as of Wednesday, many areas are experiencing infection levels not seen since the winter surge. These communities face what some call a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” with 97% of hospitalizations and 99% of deaths occurring among unvaccinated people. 

Voices in left-rated outlets tended to favor new mask mandates and call out vaccine hesitancy. Voices in right-rated outlets tended to criticize new mask mandates, with some voices defending “asking questions” about COVID-19 vaccines. 

From the Left
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OPINION

Last week, nearly every state in the U.S. experienced an increase in daily coronavirus cases. Driven by the Delta variant, this rise and an accompanying increase in hospitalizations have sparked a debate about returning to indoor mask mandates for all, regardless of vaccination status.

Los Angeles County announced Thursday that face masks will be required indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and the state of Hawaii has maintained a similar requirement amid rising cases. However, officials in both New York City and Chicago recently rejected the idea of a new universal indoor mask mandate.

Are mask requirements again necessary in the U.S.? Our...

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From the Center
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OPINION

Vaccine hesitancy is an increasing problem at a time when, with the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant, compliance is more important than ever. As our leaders and public health experts struggle to find the best way to promote compliance, one thing is increasingly clear — condescension or assertion, or a sleeve of numbers thrown at a fearful patient, are not techniques that are working. 

The term “misinformation” has been thrown around a lot lately by the Biden administration, and many from the president himself lashing out at Facebook...

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From the Right
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OPINION

With COVID cases in the country rising as the Delta variant spreads, the best thing political and public-health leaders can do is encourage the hesitant to get vaccinated. Yet many are instead undermining confidence in the shots, which have proven overwhelmingly effective against the new strain.

That’s the message sent by calling for — and in some cases instituting — a return to mask mandates, even for the vaxxed.

“Indoor mask use in NYC is falling — in delis, stores, subways, movie theaters etc. We need to reverse this trend,” tweeted Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), who...

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