CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is defending the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines. Walensky told FOX News Sunday, May 16, 2021, that she delivered the science as soon as it was available. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday defended the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines.

"I'm delivering the science as the science is delivered to the medical journals. And it evolved," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on FOX News Sunday. "I deliver it as soon as I can when we have that information available."

Under the new guidelines released last week, fully vaccinated people - those who are two weeks past their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine - can quit wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings and give up social distancing.

However, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people should continue wearing masks, the agency said.