President Joe Biden continues standing by the mask mandates advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), even as Democrat governors announce their decisions to lift them.
News broke that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will announce their decisions to lift mask mandates in their states after a flood of other Democrat governors led the way forward.
Earlier this week, Democrat governors, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Delaware Gov. John Carney, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, announced their decisions to lift mask mandates in their states.
The sudden turnaround shows that even Democrats realize voters are ready to move beyond masking mandates, especially for children in school.
The White House on Tuesday signaled they would not be lifting mask mandates, indicating that instead Biden would follow the advice of the CDC.
“The CDC moves at the pace of data and science,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily press briefing.
But the White House did not condemn Democrats for bailing on the mask mandates and the “science” behind the CDC mandates, despite repeated condemnations of Republican governors who lifted mandates months ago.
“We don’t look at it through that prism,” Psaki said, when asked if the White House was concerned Democrats were “throwing the science away” by lifting the mandates.
“[O]ur hope is that states, leaders will look at the science and data about what’s going on, they’ll make decisions about local school districts,” Psaki continued.
On social media on Tuesday evening, the White House promoted Biden’s usual plea for Americans to wear masks.
Wear a mask while you’re in public.
We are going to get through this together.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 8, 2022
But the tide is turning after widespread protests of coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates erupted in Canada.
The White House on Wednesday suddenly scheduled a coronavirus press briefing after the flood of Democrat governors lifted mandates.
The president, unpopular as ever, may shift quickly as Democrats face a perilous political future in the upcoming midterm elections.
Biden also has to calculate the tone of his State of the Union Address scheduled for March 1.