- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Biden administration is not changing its mask policies as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and the delta variant surges across the country, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.

“I think the most important thing for the public is that there hasn’t been a decision made,” she said at a White House press briefing. “It will always be led with public health guidance and [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] made that very clear this morning.”

Ms. Psaki’s comments came hours after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters there is no change to its mask guidance, but the agency is always looking at the data as it comes in.

Speaking to reporters, Ms. Psaki said that any change would be implemented by public health experts with the CDC.

“We are regularly in touch and have regular meetings with our public health officials, including CDC about how to continue to address the virus,” she said. “That shouldn’t surprise anyone.”

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that top White House officials are talking with the CDC about whether it should change masking guidance to encourage Americans to use face coverings, especially in regions with low vaccination rates.

In May, the CDC announced that individuals who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus no longer need to wear masks.

However, some regions including Los Angeles County and Berkeley, California have imposed mask restrictions. States with low vaccination rates, including Arkansas and Missouri, where cases continue to rise.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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