On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki struggled to explain a course-reversal by the Centers for Disease Control as they announced new policies that reinstate mask wearing across the country, in spite of continued praise and encouragement for Americans who take the vaccine.
Psaki admitted that the re-masking policies arrive with “slightly awkward timing,” as her morning announcement slightly preceded the later scheduled briefing from the CDC about their new mask guidance.
Throughout the briefing, Psaki repeatedly mentioned how the administration is still in a battle against coronavirus, despite weeks of cheerful rhetoric that celebrated President Biden’s success in managing the pandemic.
Psaki said that we are still facing a “once in a generation pandemic” against “an ever-evolving virus.”
However, the administration’s crutch-like dependence on the CDC to manage their response has left the Biden White House vulnerable to the whims of the CDC, and are now unable to satisfactorily explain the new guidance.
Psaki augmented her announcement with an infographic that claimed “virtually all” cases of death or hospitalization from COVID “are among unvaccinated people,” citing select data from Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, and Ohio.
Psaki completely faltered when a reporter asked her why the vaccinated should have to wear masks again if vaccines worked.
Her response was a bare ‘because we say so,’ stating that the administration’s “public health leaders… have made the determination.” She said that the “extra step” of masking for vaccinated people was required for those who aren’t vaccinated “given the transmissibility” of the new delta-COVID variant.
All other detailed questions about the renewed mask guidance and vaccine effectiveness she deflected to the CDC, telling reporters that representatives from that agency could answer reporters’ questions in details that afternoon.
Psaki concluded by rhetorically stating that Americans need to put continued faith in health experts and the Biden administration’s guidance regarding all things COVID.
Psaki also defended Biden’s positivity over recent weeks about defeating the coronavirus before the delta variant took over. She says that the evolved virus is very different in nature and therefore Biden was justified in celebrating the defeat of the original COVID-19.
Author: Brett Hawkins