White House press secretary Jen Psaki was involved in multiple exchanges with reporters about the White House’s COVID-19 policy Wednesday, including one in which she contradicted Democratic governors who are backtracking on mask mandates.
A growing number of blue states have begun scaling back masking and vaccine requirements, including in indoor businesses and schools, in recent days. Psaki was asked whether Americans in these states should continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, even if masks are no longer required.
“Yes,” Psaki answered. “This is where we would advise any American to follow the CDC guidelines … no parent who wants to send their kid with a mask should be penalized. No teacher who wants to wear a mask should be penalized, or school district who makes that choice should be penalized.”
States including New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Nevada have dropped or drastically scaled back their masking requirements just in the last several days. Democratic governors who were once staunch advocates of mask mandates have cited changing science and improving pandemic conditions as justification for their changes of heart.
The CDC still recommends that Americans wear masks in indoor spaces, including schools, even if vaccinated.
Psaki was also pressed on why Biden has not formally addressed the country on the issue of COVID-19 in nearly a month. Psaki pointed to Biden taking questions at a press conference less than two weeks ago. (RELATED: New York Rep. Maloney Says Government Is Ready ‘To Give People Their Lives Back,’ Thanks Biden)
“We’re currently, as I noted a little bit earlier, discussing what the next phase of the pandemic looks like,” she said. “That’s an ongoing process, and the American people can expect to continue to hear from the president on it.”