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"Saturday Night Live" regular Kate McKinnon as NIAID director Anthony Fauci in the "SNL" cold open. Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Kate McKinnon as NIAID director Anthony Fauci hosted a show within a show as the latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open parodied confusion over the CDC's new mask guidance.

The big picture: McKinnon's Fauci introduced sketches with "a few doctors who minored in theater" who acted out scenarios intended to demonstrate correct mask behavior.

  • Highlights included Aidy Bryant telling Beck Bennett in the first scenario, set in a bar, that he didn't need to wear a mask — prompting him to tear his off before she adds "as long as you're vaccinated."
  • He replies he isn't, but "I'm entering a bar at 11 a.m.; did you really think I was vaxxed? 'Cause that's on you."
  • Bryan replies: "You're right, I deserve COVID."

Of note: Keegan-Michael Key hosted the penultimate episode of Season 46, Olivia Rodrigo provided the music and Kermit the Frog and Statler and Waldorf from "The Muppet Show" were surprise special guests.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House, House reimpose mask mandate

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The White House announced Tuesday that it was reimposing its indoor mask requirement for staff, a White House aide confirmed to Axios.

The latest: Capitol physician Brian Monahan late Tuesday announced that the House would also require masks again "for meetings in an enclosed" space.

Jul 28, 2021 - Health

White House says federal agencies must require masks in hotspots

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The White House Office of Management and Budget told federal agencies they must require masks to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status, according to an email reviewed by Axios.

State of play: OMB deputy director Jason Miller wrote that consistent with new mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "in areas of substantial or high community transmission," employees, contractors and visitors must wear a mask inside federal buildings.

Many Republicans reject latest CDC mask guidance

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) speaks during a press conference on June 8. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Republican lawmakers across the United States are speaking out in opposition to Tuesday's recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated people wear face masks in areas with high COVID transmission rates.

Why it matters: The Delta variant is driving up case rates across the country, with roughly 46% of counties across the U.S. currently classified as areas with high transmission rates.