National nurse union asks the CDC for mask mandate to fight COVID

The largest nurse’s union in the country wants everyone to wear masks again.

National Nurses United sent a letter to the CDC pressuring them to mandate masks.

The mask mandate is to help the vulnerable. That includes children under the age of 12 who can’t get a vaccine, people who can get vaccinated yet and those who can’t mount a strong enough immune response to the vaccine.

“We know that our nurses are continuing to die and other health care workers,” said Jean Ross, a registered nurse and the president of National Nurses United. “It’s sad because it doesn’t need to be; we know better.”

Ross says rising coronavirus case counts demand more solutions than just more vaccinations. Not just any solutions but ones that work.

“What we do know does work is staying out of crowds, masking whether they’re vaccinated or not, washing hands, staying as distanced as you can,” Ross said. “All those things are part of a good public health policy, you cannot rely just on vaccines.”

While the union is asking for a mandate, Dr. Cameron Webb, a senior advisor on the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, says the data doesn’t supply that.

“It was the emergence of more data that told us that folks who were fully vaccinated had sufficient protection to where they weren’t going to weren’t likely to spread COVID and weren’t likely to get COVID,” Webb said.

Webb said if new data comes out saying universal masking should be reinstated, he believes the CDC will update the guidance.

But Ross says you won’t find the data unless you are looking for it.

“It’s amusing to me that people say, ‘Well, we don’t have the data to support universal masking.’ And you won’t, because you stopped testing all the people,” Ross said. “We don’t need to wait until there’s absolute evidence that that particular opinion was wrong. You just need to protect the public.”

And if the CDC won’t listen, Ross will ask you directly.

“We’re asking as nurses, please keep yourself safe. Wear your masks,” Ross said.

“They’re not going to continue to be martyrs. When they’ve had enough, they just can’t take any more, they leave. And that would be disastrous.”

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.