EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Bryan Steil Presses Biden, Asks What Prompted CDC’s Abrupt Reversal On Mask Guidance

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil sent a letter Wednesday to President Joe Biden calling for answers over the timing of the federal government’s latest mask guidance, which allows vaccinated individuals not to wear masks in most settings.

In the letter first obtained by the Daily Caller, Steil asked Biden about the May 13 decision from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce mask restrictions for fully vaccinated people and why Biden did not make the recommendation during his May 4 announcement at the White House.

“As you may recall, on May 4 2021, you made an announcement indicating the country would move toward normality on July 4 2021, when 70 percent of the country’s adult population would have at least one shot of the vaccine. Only 9 days later, on May 13 2021, the CDC  announced updated guidance that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or socially distance in most indoor or outdoor circumstances,” the letter read. “I am thrilled to see you and the CDC make this decision, but question whether this unmaksing recommendation could have occurred days, weeks, or months before May 13.”

Steil wondered what changed in two weeks and asked if the current gas shortage, inflation or other factors had to do with the CDC’s timing. He also asked Biden if he or the CDC consulted or coordinated with states or other outside organizations before the decision was made. (RELATED: ‘Too Risky’: Progressives Are Upset CDC Lifted Mask Mandate)

Steil asked Biden these questions in the letter: 

  • “Did the gas shortage, rising gas prices, labor shortage, or inflation play a role in the timing of the CDC making this recommendation?”
  • “Did you or the CDC consult and coordinate this decision with states or outside organizations? If so, which ones?”


(Daily Caller Obtained) — … by Henry Rodgers

“This guidance is long overdue as more than 100 million Americans are fully vaccinated. However, for months, the Biden Administration ignored evidence that supported an earlier relaxation of burdensome coronavirus directives. I want to know whether this unmasking recommendation could have occurred earlier,” Steil told the Daily Caller.

The CDC unveiled its new mask guidance Thursday, which said that vaccinated people were safe without wearing masks outdoors and in most indoor settings. (RELATED: Americans Are ‘Misinterpreting’ CDC Mask Rules, Fauci Says)

Biden said the new CDC mask rules represented a big moment in the battle to defeat COVID-19.