The White House signaled on Thursday that it is open to future lockdowns and school closures if they are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Standing in for White House press secretary Jen Psaki during the daily White House media briefing, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to rule out a return to lockdown, Fox News reported.
Fox reporter Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre why Americans should trust President Joe Biden after he moved the goalposts on wearing masks.
“President Biden says that we are not returning to lockdowns, shutdowns and school closures, but he also once said that we didn’t have to wear masks anymore once we were vaccinated,” Doocy said.
“So why should Americans trust him now?”
“Well, because we listen to the scientists, we listen to the experts,” Jean-Pierre answered.
“This is a public health situation. This is not about politics at all, this is about saving lives. And this is what the president is all about.
“He wants to make sure that we are saving lives. If you look at, Peter, the last six months, that’s what he’s done every day and you see that in the numbers,” she said.
“Now we’re at a point where we have to double down and make it very, very clear to people that we can’t let the pandemic win,” she added. “We have to continue to fight.”
Doocy then asked Jean-Pierre point-blank if the Biden administration would support another round of lockdowns.
“So if you’re listening to the science — if scientists come to you at some point down the line and say, ‘It is our opinion that there should be shutdowns and there should be school closures,’ you would do that?” he asked.
Jean-Pierre would only say that the Biden administration would follow the recommendations of the CDC.
“Like I said, we listen to the CDC and the experts and their guidance. The CDC is a body that is very well respected and, again, we follow their guidance,” she said.
The CDC tightened its masking recommendations earlier this week.
The agency now advises people to wear masks indoors in areas with high COVID-19 transmission, regardless of their vaccination status.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said new data suggests vaccinated people can spread the so-called delta variant of the coronavirus to others.
The amount of the delta variant found in vaccinated people is “pretty similar to the amount of virus in unvaccinated people,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
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