President Joe Biden is finding himself at odds with his own party.
The Washington Examiner reports that the Biden White House is facing blowback from the left after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear face masks to protect from COVID-19.
Among those criticizing the Biden administration, according to the Examiner, are a number of left-leaning medical experts, including CNN’s Dr. Leana Wen.
Speaking Thursday, Wen called the decision “shockingly abrupt.”
Yes, vaccinated people are well-protected and not a threat to others, but do we trust that the honor system — won’t unvaccinated people pretend to be vaccinated [and] stop wearing masks?
Wen went on to argue the next day that the CDC’s decision was premature and that intermediate steps should have been taken.
Other medical professionals, including Eric Feigl-Ding, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, joined the chorus. “How many transmissions will there be if we ditch masks too early?” he pressed, according to the Examiner.
“The vaccination police”
And it isn’t just the medical community that thinks the CDC misstepped here. Unions are also crying foul, including the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), whose president, Marc Perrone, said the CDC’s guidance “is confusing and fails to consider how it will impact essential workers who face frequent exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks.”
He added: “Millions of Americans are doing the right thing and getting vaccinated, but essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures. Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police?”
The CDC said last week that Americans who are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus can forgo face masks in nearly all circumstances.
“Big news from the CDC: If you’re fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask — indoors or outdoors, in most settings,” the White House announced in a tweet. “We’ve gotten this far. Whether you choose to get vaccinated or wear a mask, please protect yourself until we get to the finish line.”
It remains unclear how or if officials will seek to enforce mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals. It also remains unclear why the Biden administration seems to have so suddenly changed its mind — and if they’ll end up walking it all back amid pressure from the left.