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President Joe Biden’s administration is weighing the idea of more mask mandates for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic — even if they are vaccinated, according to a report published Wednesday.

Details of the masking discussions were reported by the Washington Post.

The White House is weighing these options as the “Delta variant” of the virus is spreading, even among the vaccinated.

The report noted that federal health officials are considering whether they would update masking guidance, asking all Americans to wear masks indoors in public places.

The White House would likely face strong pushback from vaccinated Americans who feel protected from the virus.

But a growing number of political leaders, public figures, and even athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus despite being vaccinated.

The CDC lifted masks mandates for vaccinated people in May, prompting many people in the United States to throw away their masks.

The White House said in a statement that any mask guidance would be made by the Centers for Disease Control.

“Public health guidance is made by the CDC, and they continue to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals do not wear a mask,” Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz said. “If you are not vaccinated, you should be wearing a mask.”

The White House continues to urge Americans to get vaccinated, even though vaccinated people are still contracting the disease.

“We certainly understand there will be breakthrough cases,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. “Even vaccines that are incredibly effective are not foolproof. They’re not 100 percent effective. We’ve seen that.”

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COVID-19 mask mandates associated with increased paranoia, study suggests

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health, with a new study suggesting that feelings of paranoia might be associated with mask mandates. Yale University researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature Behavior, also noted that paranoia was heightened in states with low adherence to mask mandates. 


Research involving the role uncertainty plays in the development of feelings of paranoia was already underway when the pandemic began, so the team built on their data in real-time. Using online surveys and card games in which rules could suddenly change, possibly prompting people to change choices regardless of prior outcomes, the team found increased levels of paranoia and choice volatility among the general population. 


Taking it a step further, they also investigated the effect of public health policy choices in states where masks were mandated versus recommended, according to a news release. Their findings suggested an uptick in paranoia and erratic choice behavior in areas with mandates. They also found an association between feelings of paranoia and greater acceptance of conspiracy theories regarding masks, vaccines and QAnon theories. 

"From a policy standpoint, it is clear that if a government sets rules, it is important that they are enforced and people are supported for complying," Phil Corlett, associated professor of psychology and senior author of the study, said in a news release. "Otherwise they may feel betrayed and act erratically." 

He added that the findings reflected "essentially people got paranoid when there was a rule and people were not following it." 


The team noted that heightened paranoia following crises, whether terror attacks or pandemics or other events, has been documented before. 

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