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Anthony Fauci. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that health officials are considering revising masking guidelines for vaccinated Americans.

Why it matters: Fauci said that the United States is "going in the wrong direction" as cases surge across the country, driven by the more contagious Delta variant.

  • "If you look at the inflection of the curve of new cases and, as you said in the run-in to this interview, it is among the unvaccinated. And since we have 50% of the country that not fully vaccinated, that's a problem," Fauci said.

The big picture: Fauci confirmed that new masking guidelines for the vaccinated are under "active consideration" and noted that, although current CDC guideline allows vaccinated people to go maskless, local officials have the discretion to alter this guidance.

  • This local discretion is "not incompatible" with the CDC guidance, which allows for local officials to amend masking guidelines.
  • Fauci added that local officials in places such as Los Angeles county, New Orleans, and Chicago have amended masking guidelines amidst rising cases and called this a "local decision."

Go deeper

Updated Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Judge denies Massachusetts State Police attempt to delay state vaccine mandate

Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied the request of the union representing 1,800 Massachusetts State Police troopers to delay the governor's state employee vaccine mandate, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: State workers who aren't vaccinated in Massachusetts by Oct. 17 will face disciplinary action, including possible termination.

Sep 25, 2021 - Health

Federal judge upholds Cincinnati health care system's COVID vaccine mandate

Photo: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Friday that a health care provider serving the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region can issue mandates requiring its more than 10,000 employees to get vaccinated or risk termination.

Why it matters: It's the latest ruling to uphold U.S. private employers' right to issue vaccine mandates, and comes after President Biden signed an executive order requiring vaccinations or once-a-week testing for companies with more than 100 employees.