MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said that amid new guidelines, she would need to "rewire" herself to not see people who aren't wearing masks as a threat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, saying that people who are vaccinated no longer need to wear masks in public spaces. While many are relieved by the relaxation of the guidelines, Maddow said she will face a list of other challenges because of them, like relearning to accept people who aren't wearing masks.
"I feel like I'm going to have to rewire myself so that when I see someone out in the world who's not wearing a mask, I don't instantly think, ‘You are a threat,’" Maddow said on Thursday. "Or you are selfish, or you are a Covid denier, and you definitely haven't been vaccinated. I mean, we're going to have to rewire the way that we look at each other."
"We're going to now have changing norms, and we gotta give each other space to have feelings about that as we go through what's going to be a big change that's going to create a lot of visceral reaction in a lot of us," she continued.
Maddow interviewed CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about the change in the guidelines, asking her if she was sure about the switch to not requiring masks.
"We're sure. There's an extraordinary amount of evidence now that demonstrates the vaccines are working in the real world," Walensky said.
MSNBC's Noah Rothman tweeted Maddow's clip, questioning her comments.
"The ‘patience’ message is a good one, but I live just over the river where over half the adult population has been vaccinated for a long time," he said. "You're just now coming around to the idea that someone without a mask may be responsible. And only because a federal agency said as much?"
MSNBC anchor Joy Reid said last month that she would not stop wearing a mask despite CDC guidelines allowing her to do so outdoors. She said she would continue to wear two masks while jogging because "people who are jogging are all breathing, and it’s like you’re in their backdraft, and it’s like if I’m going to run behind a lot of people, I do it."