Last Updated on February 8, 2022
As Democrat-led states continue to drop school and indoor mask mandates, CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen surprisingly agreed with the measures during an appearance on Anderson Cooper 360. Wen — who previously served as the President of Planned Parenthood — has long been a vocal supporter of some of the nation’s most draconian COVID restrictions. Wen argued that “the science has changed,” during her appearance on Monday.
“Circumstances have changed, case counts are declining. Also the science has changed. We know that vaccines protect very well against Omicron, which is the dominant variant. Everyone five and older have widespread access to vaccines,” Wen said. She then argued that the “responsibility should shift from a government mandate” to an “individual responsibility by the family who can still decide if their child can wear a mask if needed.”
Wen also said that case counts should no longer be a focal point due to Omicron largely producing mild symptoms in those it infects.
"The science has changed." @DrLeanaWen explains why she supports lifting some pandemic restrictions and thinks the decision to wear a mask should shift from a government mandate to an individual choice. pic.twitter.com/vaiybBBF2b
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 8, 2022
Many pointed out that Wen was making the very points that she and other journalists have been vilifying others for making since the pandemic began. “This sounds like a few hundred years ago when the authority of the day had to stop persecuting people for saying the Earth is round,” wrote Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in a tweet. “Apparently the ‘science has changed’…. Code words for ‘we have been wrong.’”
“The science never changed, but they can no longer deny truth. Will the COVID gods be held accountable for misinformation they spread?” Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said in reference to Wen’s appearance. Dr. Wen ultimately replied to Johnson’s tweet in which she defended her assertion that “science has changed”, claiming N-95 masks prevent transmission and that vaccines are effective against Omicron.
With respect, @SenRonJohnson, science HAS changed.
1) We didn't have vaccines for children 5-11 until Nov.
2) We now know vaccines protect well against Omicron.
3) 1-way masking with N95/KN95 protects wearer.
Change based on science doesn't mean scientists were wrong before. https://t.co/PJth9FKN2l
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) February 8, 2022
In July, Wen said that life needs to be “hard” for Americans who refuse the vaccine. “What we really need to do at this point is make vaccination the easy choice. It needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated. Right now, it’s kind of the opposite. It’s fine. It’s easy if you’re unvaccinated,” said the former Planned Parenthood president. In September, Wen argued that Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate — which was ultimately struck down — did not go nearly far enough. Wen implored Biden to implement a federal vaccine mandate for air travel, arguing that Americans needed to “earn” certain “privileges”, such as travel. “If you wish to have these privileges, you need to get vaccinated. Travel, and having the right to travel in our state, it’s not a constitutional right as far as I know to board a plane, and so saying that you want to stay unvaccinated, that is your choice, but if you want to travel, you better go get that vaccine.”
.@DrLeanaWen: “There are privileges associated with being an American. That if you wish to have these privileges, you need to get vaccinated. Travel, and having the right to travel in our state, it’s not a constitutional right as far as I know to board a plane." pic.twitter.com/eyhEVooV20
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 10, 2021