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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

Oct 21, 2021 - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% have received at least one dose.

Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy, large study shows — FDA authorizes mix-and-match for booster shots — J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year.
  2. Health: Cases and deaths keep falling — White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11 — The global coronavirus vaccine gap — Gates Foundation to send $120 million of antiviral pills to lower-income countries.
  3. Politics: Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates — Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

DeSantis to convene state legislature to fight COVID vaccine mandates

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he will convene a special session of the state legislature to combat coronavirus vaccine mandates enacted by businesses and "provide protections for employees."

Why it matters: This is the Republican governor's latest move to penalize local entities that implement mask or vaccine mandates to contain the spread of the virus.