To say that the Biden administration’s “trust the science!” messaging on the coronavirus vaccine and wearing masks has been a disaster could easily be a contender for understatement of the year.
There are too many instances to document in one post, but two that come to mind are the the one earlier this month when VP Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff kissed each other goodbye while wearing masks outdoors, and just a few days before that when President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden left the Georgia home of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter wearing masks outside.
It was beyond ridiculous, especially considering both happened after the CDC had updated their guidelines to state that you don’t need to wear a mask outdoors “except in certain crowded settings and venues” (like concerts, etc.) as long as you’ve been fully vaccinated.
Unfortunately, the garbled messages from Democrats on CDC guidelines are not just coming from the White House. Other so-called Democratic “leaders” in other parts of the country are sending mixed signals as well. In the process, they are revealing a few things many of us have long suspected about elected officials who have argued for the last year on how critical it was that draconian restrictions be kept in place because “SCIENCE!” and whatnot.
“Well, I think we’ve gotta get some clarification from the CDC. The rollout obviously is, the reporting has been, was a bit abrupt, and I think they’ve got a lot of clarification that they need to do,” Lightfoot said. “I know for me personally, I’m gonna continue to wear a mask in public and I’m gonna encourage others to do so.”
“We’ve gotta make sure that people are continuing to follow the public health guidance that has gotten us this far and masks I think are a big and important part of that,” Lightfoot said. “To say, well, if you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask, that’s great, but what about all the other people that are out there that aren’t vaccinated and there’s no way to know that? So I think for the time being, most people are gonna continue to wear a mask outside, outside their homes, and I think that’s smart.”
Mayor Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) says she hopes vaccinated Chicagoans continue wearing masks despite CDC guidance: "I’m going to continue to wear a mask in public and I’m going to encourage others to do so." pic.twitter.com/td7IOkCCdh
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 17, 2021
She later went on to make a “we’re not out of the woods” argument yet in an attempt to strengthen her case for people continuing to wear masks and social distance even if they had been fully vaccinated.
So what did she do there? Two things: She undermined the reason for getting the vaccine. As I’ve written before, most people’s definition of “getting back to normal” in this country after a pandemic involves a scenario where get the vaccine and then can get back to business as usual in their lives — and that includes not masking and not social distancing outside of local businesses that may call for it or in the transportation industry as a precautionary measure.
The second thing she did was she questioned the science by fretting about the “abruptness” of the CDC’s revision of their guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated. “We’ve gotta make sure that people are continuing to follow the public health guidance that has gotten us this far,” she stated, but we’re not supposed to trust the CDC now that the science is telling them that it’s okay for fully vaccinated people to go about mask-free in most instances?
This type of questioning the science got a lot of people in trouble last year, as the media and Democrats piled on whenever a Republican veered one iota off official narratives about how states should be managing the crisis. Gov. Ron DeSantis was mocked and ridiculed by the media and the left because he oftentimes questioned the science and chose a different path for his state than blue cities and states like Chicago and New York did.
And yet here we have a Democratic mayor of one of the largest cities in America not only questioning the science but also urging residents to do the exact opposite of what the CDC recommends. There will be no howls of outrage from the usual corners for a couple of reasons: 1) She’s a Democrat, which exempts her from all but the mildest of criticisms, and 2) it’s been as much about the control as it has about the public health. Lightfoot and other Democrats who are resistant to accepting the CDC’s guidelines don’t appear to want to give that up just yet – if ever.
That, I submit, speaks worse of them than any question DeSantis asked about federal guidance ever did. Which approach was more effective? The blue state approach or the red state approach? As my colleague Bonchie wrote earlier, it looks like those “Neanderthal” states might have won the argument – White House press secretary Jen Psaki seemed to make a similar point last week as well without realizing it – but I’ll leave it to readers to analyze and debate.