Jen Psaki smacks down Fox News reporter who suggests new CDC mask guidance is 'political'
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki once again was forced to explain basic facts to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, as his network has been suggesting without any evidence the CDC's decision to change mask guidance was a political decision to distract from other issues.
These are two of Fox News' mobile alerts on the decision to announce fully vaccinated Americans can now forgo social distancing protocols including mask wearing.
Here's how the conservative network's White House correspondent Peter Doocy, who is not a medical doctor, immunologist, virologist, or scientist, tried to make news.
"There are a lot of questions about the timing of the CDC's announcement yesterday," he said, after Fox News for the better part of a year has been actively spreading false information on masks and the coronavirus. "So, did somebody at the Biden administration or in the Biden administration update this guidance for political reasons?"
"No," Psaki replied.
"What was the medical or scientific reason – what was the big breakthrough to do this yesterday?" Doocy asked.
(Yesterday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spent about 30 minutes discussing with the American people in a nationally-televised news conference the current state of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., and the reasons why CDC has decided to change its guidance now. Among those reasons are two studies that show the incredible effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.)
"Well, I know that Dr. Walensky did an extensive number of interviews yesterday to answer exactly that question, but as we've talked in here quite a bit about the CDC not just Dr. Walensky but her entire team of health and medical experts are constantly reviewing the data to ensure that they can provide accurate and up to date guidance to the American people," Psaki explained. "So, based on three factors as she talked about yesterday, vaccines work in the real world, we've seen a lot of studies done on that including internally in the federal government. Vaccines stand up to the variants which at various times, has been a concern about the need to continue to mask, even as you, after you're vaccinated and vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus – that's how they came to the decision, and that's what she conveyed yesterday when she announced the decision."
Ignoring all the science and the reasons both Dr. Walensky and Psaki offered, Doocy delivered his own reasons for why he seemed to think the mask mandate should continue.
"Just looking at the CDC website, on the way up here only 45.6% of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated as of yesterday, only 58.9% of the adult population has, has at least one dose. So, what happened to President Biden's saying in March that he thought, lifting mask mandates before every adult American goes and gets a shot is 'Neanderthal thinking'?"
"Well first let me say that the President our North Star has been listening to the guidance of our health and medical experts in teams and that's exactly what we're doing in this case. And just to reiterate, the CDC, the doctors and medical experts there were the ones who determined what this guidance would be based on their own data, and what the timeline would be. That was not a decision, directed by made by the White House. It was informed the White House was informed of that decision, just to give people assurance of that," Psaki added.
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