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A “Meet the Press” panel criticized the Biden administration Sunday over their messaging with regard to the transportation mask mandate, saying that they put themselves “in a box” and that they “constantly” put things in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “lap.”
NBC White House Correspondent Carol Lee said the administration both “politically and practically” put themselves in a “box” by saying they were going to “follow the science” and support the CDC recommendation.
“They constantly put things in the CDC’s lap,” Lee said.
Guest host Kristen Welker asked New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker about how the mask mandate decision and the administration’s messaging weighs into the midterm elections.
“COVID isn’t done with us. I think we’re done with mandates and the Biden administration is just as happy to have the mandates go away because they know that politically, it’s just a mess,” Baker said.
“This has an impact on people in power,” he continued. “That doesn’t help in an election if the public is sour about the way things are going in the country. Even though you have a lot of good things you can talk about.”
A federal judge in Florida expelled the Biden administration’s transportation mask mandate on April 18.
The Department of Justice announced that they would appeal the judges decision after the CDC said it was “necessary.”
“CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings,” the CDC’s statement said. “CDC’s number one priority is protecting the public health of our nation. As we have said before, wearing masks is most beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as the transportation corridor.”
Following the judge’s decision, several airlines announced they would be dropping their mask mandates.
The mandate, which was recently set to end on April 18 after already being extended, was extended again until May 3, prior to the judges ruling.