The problem for the CDC, and the country, is not the 163.3 million Americans who are fully vaccinated — and there’s a good chance that the 25.6 million or so Americans with their first shot will get around to getting their second shot. The problem is the nearly 80 million American adults who are eligible to get vaccinated and who haven’t yet. (Despite what a lot of news coverage would suggest, this demographic is not overwhelmingly or even largely MAGA-cap-wearing rural Trump voters. Lots of unvaccinated Americans live in America’s biggest and most heavily Democratic cities, and 40 percent of New York City Department of Education employees remain unvaccinated.)
The CDC has decided that because of the risk to the unvaccinated, everyone — including the fully vaccinated — should mask up once again to stop the spread. Just like that, we’re back to 2020, with Americans fighting over whether they need to wear one indoors, outdoors, and in schools, and policing each other when the masks slide under their noses. All to protect people who have been eligible to get vaccinated since mid April, and who, in most cases, have deliberately chosen to not get the shot.