Dr. Ashish Jha believes COVID vaccinated people are getting unnecessarily punished with mask mandates ... purely because of diehard anti-vaxxers -- and it could make push come to shove.
Brown University's Public Health School Dean joined "TMZ Live" Friday to discuss L.A. County's reinstated COVID-19 mask rule, which requires even fully vaxxed folks to mask up indoors.
Dr. Jha says the new mandate doesn't jibe with science -- as he points out, an office full of vaccinated people don't need masks ... even indoors.
However, as the Delta variant continues to spread among the unvaccinated -- and more than 97 percent of people hospitalized for COVID are unvaccinated -- experts also agree masks remain a wise precaution for everyone in certain settings.
So, therein lies the issue ... anyone who wants to wear a mask can wear one, but making it a requirement for everyone removes the incentive for the unvaccinated to get the shot.
Dr. Jha says the bottom line is people should get vaccinated because the Delta variant is no joke, and because it's the ONLY way to truly put the pandemic behind us.
Meanwhile, he says there's no good reason to punish those who've already done their part by getting the shot ... especially because they're much less at risk now.