Joe Biden’s administration suffered a public relations crisis after explaining why every American has to cover the nose and mouth, despite already being immunized against the deadly disease.
At a July 27 White House briefing, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy questioned the necessity of wearing face masks “if [the COVID-19] vaccines work.”
Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to explain the masks provide an “extra step” of protection, given the “transmissibility of the virus.”
“Because the public health leaders in our administration have made the determination, based on data, that that is a way to make sure they are protected, their loved ones are protected,” she said in a statement, referring to new mask recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
PETER DOOCY: "If vaccines work…then why do people who have the vaccine need to now wear masks?"— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 27, 2021
PSAKI: "The public health leaders in our Administration have made the determination, based on data, that that is a way to make sure they're protected" pic.twitter.com/KuRlLaK188
The press secretary claimed the Biden administration would continue to be guided by “science,” examine public health data, and provide new guidance if “needed to save lives, [and] protect the American people.”
“The president is satisfied with the fact that they (CDC) are continuing to look at public health data, and provide public health guidance to the American public about how they can protect their lives–and the lives of loved ones around them,” she said.
The remarks came after the CDC reversed its earlier guidance that only unvaccinated individuals should wear face coverings. The center claimed this was due a surge of Delta variant infections, which are much more contagious than previous strains.
“To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission,” CDC said in its guidance.
#DeltaVariant surging in U.S. New data show Delta much more contagious than previous versions of #COVID19. Unvaccinated people: get vaccinated & mask until you do. Everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated. https://t.co/tt49zOEC8N— CDC (@CDCgov) July 27, 2021
President Biden believes the measure is necessary to completely eradicate the disease.
“[The latest] announcement by the CDC—that new research and concerns about the Delta variant leads CDC to recommend a return to masking in parts of the country—is another step on our journey to defeating this virus,” he said in a statement.
“The most important protection we have against the Delta variant is to get vaccinated,” he added. “Although most U.S. adults are vaccinated, too many are not [and,] while we have seen an increase in vaccinations in recent days, we still need to do better.”
However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes the CDC’s new rules.
“Vaccines work and vaccinated Americans should not have to wear masks,” he said on Twitter. “By forcing vaccinated Americans to return to masks, the Biden administration is not only casting doubt on a safe and effective vaccine but contradicting why vaccines exist.”
Vaccines work and vaccinated Americans should not have to wear masks.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 27, 2021
By forcing vaccinated Americans to return to masks, the Biden administration is not only casting doubt on a safe and effective vaccine but contradicting why vaccines exist.