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Healthwatch: Dr. Leana Wen on CDC mask guidelines, vax issues

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Dr. Leana Wen is an emergency physician, Brookings Institution senior fellow and public health commentator on CNN and in the Washington Post. She teaches at GW University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. (GWU)

In the middle of January, the US was reporting more than 900,000 new cases of COVID 19 every day. The daily case count now averages less than 50,000.

Here in Maryland, two months ago the testing positivity rate was nearly 27%. Now, it stands at less than 2%. Maryland and the District of Columbia have the nation’s lowest daily case rate.

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An artist's rendering of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. (CDC)

The vaccination rate is creeping up very, very slowly. More than a year into vaccine availability, only about 65% of Americans are fully vaccinated, well behind dozens of other countries.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its guidelines for masking in public spaces, changing the metrics it emphasizes as they determine what is best practice at this stage of the pandemic. Writing in the Washington Post, Dr. Leana Wen says, “The CDC finally got masking right.”

Dr. Wen is a former Baltimore City health commissioner and Tom's guest today for another edition of the Midday Healthwatch

She is an emergency physician who teaches at the George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. She’s a columnist for The Washington Post, a medical analyst for CNN, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health.

Dr. Leana Wen joins us on Zoom.

And we welcome your questions and comments…
Call 410.662.8780. Email us at [email protected], or Tweet us: @MiddayWYPR

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.