National nurse union calls for CDC to reinstate mask mandate

CHARLOTTE — National Nurses United, one of the largest nurse unions, is calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reinstate mask requirements regardless of whether people are vaccinated.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet,” said Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United. Burger has been a registered nurse for more than 45 years.

[Delta is emerging’: New COVID-19 cases in NC reach 2-month high]

“Right now, we know that there’s about a 22% increase in COVID cases in the last two weeks,” Burger said. “That’s significant. That tells you that the voluntary mask-use policy is not working. We need clearer guidelines.”

The union sent a letter this week to the CDC that indicated their concerns, which include rising case counts, hospitalizations and the emergence of the Delta variant.

“What we’re concerned about is that a variant will occur that will work its way around the vaccine that we currently have, and then we’re back at square one again,” Burger said.

The letter stated, “More than 40 states have seen an increase in daily new cases over the previous two weeks, and more than 25 states have seen an increase in hospitalizations.”

(WATCH BELOW: 5 things to know about the Delta variant of COVID-19)