President Joe Biden is asked whether vaccinated Americans would be asked to wear masks again as COVID cases rise, said on Thursday his administration would follow the science.
He emphasized that newer infections were affecting people who have not been vaccinated.
"We follow the science," Biden said during a meeting with labour leaders. "We have a pandemic among the non-vaccinated - those who are not vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you are safe."
Biden's remarks come as COVID-19 cases are climbing in some states as vaccination efforts have stalled amid scepticism and disinformation.
Weary Americans emerging from a lengthy pandemic lockdown welcomed the lifting of mask requirements this spring and summer.
Los Angeles County reimposed its mask mandate over the weekend in the latest sign that public health officials are struggling with an alarming rise in coronavirus cases tied to the highly contagious Delta variant.
Mask requirements became politicized early in the coronavirus pandemic, as then-president Donald Trump and other Republicans pushed back at advice from health officials that they stopped the spread of the virus.
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