White House Coronavirus Team Quiet as Joe Biden Readies State of the Union Address
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response team has taken a step out of the spotlight as the president readies his State of the Union speech for Tuesday.
Biden’s coronavirus team has not held a public briefing on the coronavirus for 12 days, even as the Centers for Disease Control quietly walked back some of their masking guidance.
As Biden prepares to speak to the nation, 70 percent of Americans can now stop wearing masks, socially distance themselves from others or avoid crowded indoor spaces, the CDC announced.
But the announcement was not led by Biden’s coronavirus team. Instead, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky hosted a briefing call with reporters and other scientists to discuss the news.
The CDC changed the criteria for the new guidelines, although reassuring Americans throughout the pandemic they were based on the “data” and the “science.” The guidelines are no longer based just on the number of cases, but rather on the numbers of hospitalizations and new cases.
Fences and barriers surround the U.S. Capitol after being re-installed ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address before a Joint Session of Congress on February 27, 2022 in Washington, DC. The State of the Union is scheduled for March 1, 2022. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
As Biden plans to deliver his the State of the Union, Democrats eager to demonstrate their success at fighting the pandemic.
A steady stream of Democrat governors and mayors lifted mask guidance and vaccine mandates in their states and cities in February.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is lifting the mask mandate on Capitol Hill for Biden’s State of the Union speech after Capitol Physician Brian Monahan announced updated medical guidance on Sunday.
It is unclear whether Biden’s White House will lift masking requirements in the White House in time for the annual address.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki is scheduled to brief reporters on Monday afternoon, but no updated masking guidance for reporters and visitors to the building has been issued.