Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical expert and outspoken advocate of COVID-inspired restrictions, publicly endorsed masks as she opined on their necessity in school settings during a Thursday morning interview.
She said she agrees "that masks are a potent layer of protection, but it's one layer. And, if we have so many other layers that are present, masking could be maybe one that could go away."
"Let's say a school, or a particular class, everybody's vaccinated in that class. And also, the level of community transmission is declining," she said.
"I could imagine that situation being where we remove masks because we have all these other layers."
Wen continued: "Or, if we have rapid testing, imagine if every child and teacher were tested every morning, and also, they're vaccinated. You can imagine that situation, even if there are high levels of community spread, that maybe you can remove masks at that time."
"But we are nowhere near there yet, and I think what we really need to do is get the vaccines authorized for children as soon as that's possible.
"And also, really ramp up testing, because that is a powerful tool that we are just not using across the country as we should be," she said.
Wen has also been a staunch proponent of mandatory vaccination, claiming a person's freedom of movement shouldn't be considered a fundamental human right despite being in the US Constitution. She made the same point on two separate occasions when interviewed by media.
When the Biden administration discussed the viability of "vaccine passports" with business leaders in April, Wen believed government should go further to secure their aim of bolstering vaccination rates nationwide.
"It has to be clear to them," Wen told CNN's Chris Cuomo, "that the vaccine is the ticket back to pre-pandemic life. And the window to do that is really narrowing."
She said the US had a "very narrow window" to tie reopening policy to vaccination status.
"Because otherwise if everything is reopened, what is the carrot going to be? How are we going to incentivize people to actually get the vaccine?" asked Wen rhetorically.
"The Biden administration needs to come out a lot bolder and say, 'if you're vaccinated, you can do all these things, here are all these freedoms that you have.' Because otherwise people are going to go out and enjoy these freedoms anyway," she said.