Jul 30 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-introduced the Restore Public Health Institution Trust Act, legislation that would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision making and messaging surrounding its reversal on mask guidance for fully vaccinated Americans. 

The legislation follows the CDC’s Tuesday announcement of new guidance to require indoor masking for all vaccinated individuals in areas reporting over 50 new cases per 100k individuals over the previous seven day period. The CDC made this recommendation without providing a clear, verifiable justification for why the science on the Delta variant in July 2021 is supposedly different from the data in May 2021.

“I have been telling North Carolinians since last year that vaccines are the most effective tool we have to return to life as normal and the scientific data has shown that to be true,” said Senator Tillis. “However the CDC’s recent mask update sends a confusing message to vaccinated Americans and may even deter other Americans from getting their shots. The American people should have full confidence that there is transparency and accountability in the decision making process.”

The Restore Public Health Institution Trust Act would require the GAO to review the below items and make recommendations on ways the CDC should improve their approach:

  • The data being used to make recommendations;
  • The impact that inconsistent messaging has had on Americans’ trust in the institution and willingness to follow the guidance, including as it relates to vaccine uptake;
  • The degree to which outside entities, like teachers unions, were in a position to impact recommendations.