The Incoherence of the White House's COVID Messaging Reaches Code Red Levels

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

With breakthrough cases of the Delta variant of COVID infecting a growing number of vaccinated individuals, including no less than five Texas Democrats who fled their state to stop an election integrity bill, the fear is getting cranked back up to max. Democrats and the media are drooling at the possibility of gaining yet more control over people’s lives with a pandemic serving as the excuse.

Within that framing, there are renewed talks of lockdowns and mask mandates despite the fact that deaths and hospitalizations are not following the increase in cases. In fact, the data out of the United Kingdom shows just how irrelevant case counts are these days, though, the obsession with them continues for obvious, political reasons.

What this means is that there is zero reason to panic and run back to ineffective, destructive mitigation measures. With well over 65% of the United States over-12 population vaccinated and a hefty percentage of those who haven’t been enjoying natural immunity due to prior infection, we are simply not in the same place we were last summer as far as vulnerability goes. Despite that reality, the incoherence from the White House is reaching code red levels.

To begin, we’ve known since at least last fall (because of real-world data gathered from schools being open largely across the South) that heavy mitigation in schools is pointless. Children are not serious vectors for spread and virtually all teachers have been vaccinated at this point. It is child abuse to still be demanding an eight-year-old wear a mask all day in a classroom while they have a vaccinated teacher. There is no science behind doing that, both because of the lack of spread from children and the fact that masks do not work to stop the spread of COVID.

Regardless, I really want to zero in on the last point Murthy makes because it’s a pathetic attempt by Biden and his administration to have their cake and eat it too.

If they put in place a mask mandate for those who are vaccinated, the White House is absolutely signaling that the vaccines aren’t effective. Now, we know that’s not true because the Delta variant is far less deadly in individuals with immunity, either via vaccination or by prior infection. Clearly, the vaccines and natural immunity are doing their job. Given that the vaccines work, masks are not necessary. It’s that simple, but by suggesting a mask mandate is needed again for those with immunity, the White House is inadvertently promoting the idea that the vaccines aren’t effective.

In short, while Joe Biden runs around trying to blame Facebook and Republicans for so-called “vaccine hesitancy,” his own administration is pushing a narrative that encourages people to not bother getting vaccinated. The White House can not have it both ways. Either the vaccine works (it does) or masks are necessary (they aren’t). Asserting that a mask mandate doesn’t undercut the messaging on the vaccine is nonsensical.

This is what you get when the country is being run by an incompetent old man who is surrounded by left-wing ideologues. Everything is political. That includes Biden’s inability to simply stand up and lead, accepting the risks that come with that. Instead, we are getting a cowardly, overly risk-averse approach that is only making matters worse.