“Given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, adding that vaccinated people should wear masks. “If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling.”
As with other recommendations from the CDC, Walenksy’s remark has no legal authority.
The current seven-day average of new COVID-19 infections in the United States is about 149,000 cases per day, according to data provided by the CDC. The number of deaths per seven-day average in the United States, the data shows, is about 985 per day as of Aug. 30.
Walensky’s comment drew criticism on social media, with some noting that people who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine haven’t listened to the CDC’s recommendations, anyway.
“No travel for you, bad little children,” wrote Dr. Robert Malone, who has self-identified as a key developer of mRNA vaccine technology, on Twitter after her announcement.
Walensky’s suggestion that those who are not vaccinated should not travel also appears to tie in with vaccine passport mandates that were handed down in New York City, San Francisco, and other municipalities. Civil liberties groups have flagged such systems as potentially creating a two-tiered society of vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
Her remarks come as a CDC panel on Monday said that COVID-19 vaccines’ ability to keep people out of the hospital is waning, albeit slightly.
The agency previously estimated that most people being treated for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus are unvaccinated with about 97 percent not having received the shot.
The CDC panel on Monday noted that the 97 percent figure was based on data that was collected before the spread of the Delta variant. Now, the latest CDC analysis suggests that the vaccines’ effectiveness at keeping people out of the hospital is between 75 percent and 95 percent.
Individuals older than the age of 75 saw a significant decline, the panel added, noting that the vaccines’ effectiveness dropped from 90 percent in June to 80 percent in July. The agency said that immunity could be weakening over time, namely among older people, the most vulnerable group.
CDC advisers said during the panel’s briefing, however, that COVID-19 vaccines are still effective at preventing serious illness. Walensky also touted the vaccines’ efficacy at stopping serious illness during the COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.
The federal health agency, meanwhile, said it continues to recommend that all eligible people be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven’t yet done so.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP virus.