Zurawik: CDC has done terrible job in its COVID communications

Photo by Greg Nash, pool, via The Associated Press / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

You can't blame the messenger for not being clear if the message is a mishmash. And last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered such a messed-up message about unmasking that its director still has not been able to clean it up. As a result, many of us are more confused than ever about masks.

"Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at a White House briefing Thursday. "If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy."

Really? No masks? No physical distancing? As I wrote two days before the directive was announced, we in the media were at a point in covering the pandemic where clarity and exactitude were needed as much or more than ever.

But