CDC Director Masks Up For Democrats, Not Republicans

A recent social media post by Centers for Disease Control Director Mandy Cohen is causing a stir after the director was photographed wearing a face mask while meeting with Democrats, but not Republicans. The difference in protocols exhibited by Cohen has renewed calls by Republicans to oust her from the position she has held since July 2023.

Cohen was nominated by the Biden administration in June over the complaints of Republicans who claimed that Cohen was unfit for the post. In a letter sent to President Joe Biden in June, Republican senators and representatives state that Cohen disregards scientific evidence in favor of copying her friends’ behaviors.

“Throughout her career, Dr. Cohen has politicized science, disregarded civil liberties, and spread misinformation about the efficacy and necessity of Covid vaccinations and the necessity of masks, during her time as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services,” the letter reads.

A recent study published by the Cochrane Library examined a number of studies conducted during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, SARS in 2003, and COVID-19 in 2020. The study notes that due to the impossibility of identifying when and how masks were worn, the studies might not show accurate information, but researchers concluded that wearing a mask likely had little to no impact on preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

On May 5, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic over, but a recent rise in cases and new mutations are threatening to reinstate policies from the pandemic period, including masking in public. Several school districts nationwide have already reinstituted masking requirements despite the limited evidence that masks are effective.

Among the many issues with masking regulations are the differences in how effective certain types of masks are and how well individuals wear them. Surgical masks and cloth masks frequently do not fit the face tightly, which can allow for the transmission of virus particles. Superior N95 masks are believed to be more effective, however, the study found no evidence of the effectiveness of N95 masks among healthcare workers.

Further complicating the picture of how well masks work is the fact that many people would pull masks down to their chin in between uses, exposing the mask to contaminants in the process. Reusing masks and other unsanitary practices could have also created conditions for other ailments.

The National Institute of Health pointed out in April 2023, that long-term use of masks is linked to fungal diseases such as pneumonia. Dermatologists also warned of the use of masks causing yeast infections and other skin problems due to the moisture that is trapped against the skin when wearing a mask.

Cohen posted photos wearing a mask while meeting with Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), but was not wearing a mask in photos with Mitt Romney (R-UT). Cohen has not explained the difference in treatment publically at this time.