- CVS CEO Karen Lynch says masks may be needed until at least next year.
- Lynch says the United States is on track to reach the goal of vaccinating 300 million Americans by the end of the summer.
- Fauci said Americans may still be wearing masks next year, depending on vaccination and case level.
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Face masks are likely to be the norm until at least 2022, CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch said during the DealBook DC Policy Project conference on Tuesday.
Lynch said she hopes masks are not household items forever, but added that they are likely to be needed until at least next year to protect the country from the ongoing COVID-1
“For the sake of the nation’s health and safety, I think it’s important for us to really think about wearing masks until this is behind us,” said Lynch, who began his role as CEO earlier this month. She added that it is important to get everyone vaccinated and further studies on whether the vaccinated can still carry and spread the virus, in order to lift the mask rules.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said last week that it is possible that Americans may still need masks next year, depending on whether a majority of the country is vaccinated and whether COVID-19 cases are on “a lot. low “levels. In the early days of his administration, Biden increased his vaccination ambitions and bought enough vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer.
CVS is one of the retail partners that has partnered with the federal government to get shots in the arm of older Americans at long-term care facilities and now with vaccinating the general population. In Tuesday’s interview, Lynch said, “We’re well on our way to doing what the president has asked us to do to get 300 million Americans done … And I’m hoping we get there.”
So far, 13% of the population or 44 million people have received at least one shot of the two-dose vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, less than a year after the pandemic hit the United States, the country passed 500,000 deaths related to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, admissions to COVID-19 have reached their lowest level since November, with some giving credit to the rollout of the vaccine. Still, experts have recommended continued use of face masks and social distancing measures to keep the number of admissions declining.