Masks will be needed until at least 2022, says CVS CEO

  • CVS CEO Karen Lynch says masks may be necessary until at least next year.
  • Lynch says the United States is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 300 million Americans by the end of the summer.
  • Fauci said Americans may continue to wear masks next year, depending on vaccination and case levels.
  • Visit the Insider Business section for more stories.

Masks are likely to be the norm through at least 2022, CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch said Tuesday during the DealBook DC Policy Project conference.

Lynch said he hopes masks won’t be a household item forever, but added that they will likely be needed until at least next year to protect the country against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the health and safety of the nation, I think it is important that we really think about wearing masks until this is behind us,” said Lynch, who began her role as CEO earlier this month. He added that vaccinating everyone and conducting more studies on whether those vaccinated can still carry and spread the virus are important to eliminate the mask rules.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said last week that Americans may still need to wear masks next year, depending on whether the majority of the country is vaccinated and whether the COVID-19 cases they are at “very low” levels. . In the early days of his administration, Biden stepped up his vaccination ambitions and purchased enough vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer.

CVS is one of the retail partners that has worked with the federal government to get older Americans vaccinated in the arms of long-term care facilities and now to vaccinate the general population. In Tuesday’s interview, Lynch said, “We are well on our way to achieving what the president asked for, getting 300 million Americans through … And I am hopeful that we will.”

So far, 13% of the population, or 44 million people, have received at least one injection of the two-dose vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, less than a year after the pandemic gripped the United States, the country surpassed 500,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached their lowest level since November, with some crediting the launch of the vaccine. Still, experts have recommended the continued use of masks and social distancing measures to keep the number of hospitalizations down.

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