The White House will not say whether President Joe Biden supports tougher restrictions for unvaccinated Americans.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed the Delta variant, which is touted to be the most transmissible strain to date, accounts for 83 percent of new COVID-19 infections. Officials are concerned this will increase the number of transmissions, and the Biden administration blames the pandemic on those who are not immunized.
Reporters have questioned the administration about whether the CDC plans to alter its mask rule for vaccinated people. They also wondered if more will be done to limit movement for those who did not receive the vaccine.
When asked if Biden supports imposing limits on unvaccinated individuals attending the theater, restaurants and other venues, Jen Psaki seemingly dodged the question. The press secretary instead claimed President Biden respects CDC standards.
“The president favors using the CDC as his North Star,” she said in a statement. “What the health and medical experts are going to advise on [is] how to save more lives and protect people.”
When asked whether this means the Oval Office opposes the limits, Psaki stressed Biden’s confidence in being guided by the research and evidence.
“[Biden] believes that we should be guided by the science and by the data,” she said. “He will look to his health and medical team to advise on what steps we should take.”
BL understands neither the president nor press secretary have publicly supported requiring masks for vaccinated Americans. They instead refer to CDC recommendations, and note vaccinated people do not need to wear masks at this time. The CDC is now considering whether to alter these rules according to the White House chief medical adviser.
“This is under active consideration,” Anthony Fauci said according to Yahoo News. “If you are asking am I part of the discussion, yes, I am part of the discussion.”
“What you are seeing, even though as of our conversation at this moment, the CDC still says and recommends that if you are vaccinated fully–that you do not need to wear a mask indoors,” he added.
Fauci stressed the country is “going in the wrong direction,” and it will “not be good” if more Americans refuse to take the jab.