The CDC is clearly concerned that it's losing the PR war to convince Americans that they must mask up and get vaccinated. Because less than a week after declaring that it would revive its mask mandate, the CDC has just pulled a classic media trick: turning the fearmongering nob up to '11' by leaking an "internal report" that supports the official narrative (even making it look like the more moderate of two options) while laundering the source of the information by allowing a reputable news org to market the story as an "exclusive".
A slide deck apparently shared widely inside the agency in the weeks after it first lifted the original mask mandate in May shows that the delta variant appears to cause more severe illness in younger patients, while spreading as easily as "chickenpox." What's more, it warns that the vaccine's ability to spread via infecting the already vaccinated means the CDC should impose even more stringent guidance - the presentation called for "universal masking." The document "strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public message to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus."
Most critically, the slide deck includes "still-unpublished data" from studies showing that even the vaccinated might be able to transmit the virus as easily as the unvaccinated.