The Heat: Countries relax mask mandates despite subvariant risk

The Heat

This week, a U.S. federal judge struck down the mask mandate for planes and other forms of public transportation.  

Airlines quickly complied, allowing passengers to travel without masks.. Spain ended its indoor mask rule after two years and Israel will do the same this weekend. Brazil has also relaxed protocols and will hold its famous carnival for the first time in two years. But medical experts are concerned with the Omicron subvariant. Here in the United States, cases are rising after a two-month decline – causing many to ask: Is it too soon to lower our guard?

To help us answer that question, we have William Haseltine. He’s chair and president of ACCESS Health International and author of “Omicron: From Pandemic to Endemic.”

To continue our conversation:

  • Ryan Patel is a global business executive and senior fellow  at Claremont Graduate University. 
  • Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam is president of the New England Complex Systems Institute.
  • Josef Gregory Mahoney is a politics professor at East China Normal University and a former public health officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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