White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday there were “active discussions” about a range of measures to combat rising COVID cases — including mask mandates — but declined to say whether restaurants and concert halls would see more restrictions.
She said any policy changes would be led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The issue was brought up in Psaki’s daily press conference after Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday had said the CDC was investigating whether mask counseling should be reintroduced, even for fully vaccinated people in public.
“This is being actively considered,” Fauci told CNN.
Psaki said a number of things have been discussed among health experts as the number of COVID cases has risen nearly 300% in the past three weeks.
“I would say that for any of these recommendations we will always be guided by our North Star, which is the CDC and our health and medical experts,” she said.
‘Of course there is active discussion about a series of steps that can be taken as there is from day one of this administration. Certainly, the increase in the number of cases and the failure to vaccinate because of the Delta variant – you know – is fueling even more debate about what actions can be taken,” she added.
She wouldn’t answer if restrictions came into play when people are in crowded conditions, such as eating at a restaurant, going to a concert, or visiting a museum.
“The president is in favor of using the CDC as his North Star and will work with health and medical experts to advise on how to save more lives and protect people,” Psaki said when asked about the issue.
“He believes we should be guided by the science and the data, so he will look to his health and the medical team to advise on what steps to take,” she added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there were “active discussions” on a range of measures to combat rising COVID cases – including mask mandates
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wouldn’t answer if restrictions came into play when people are in crowded conditions, such as eating at a restaurant or going to a concert
Her comments came as President Joe Biden begged people to get vaccinated.
“We have to,” Biden said Monday at an event in the Rose Garden when asked how the administration will get the unvaccinated people vaccinated.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise rapidly in the US as the Delta variant tightens its grip on the country.
Psaki said on Monday that vaccinations are on the rise, especially in states with low rates.
Last week, the five states with the highest number of cases, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California, had a higher percentage of people newly vaccinated compared to the national average. Again, this is a positive trend,” she said during her White House press conference.
And another recent piece of evidence in yesterday’s reporting period, nearly half a million Americans have made the decision to take their first chance. Figures like this give us a signal that people understand the urgency and importance of vaccination, and rightly so,” she noted.
On Sunday, the country registered 15,711 new cases with a seven-day moving average of 52,116, up 291 percent from the average of 13,305 three weeks ago.
Every state and the District of Columbia reports that the number of infections has risen or has remained stable in the past week, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins data from DailyMail.com.
In addition, 56 COVID-19 deaths were recorded on Sunday with a seven-day moving average of 281.
The number of fatalities, a lagging indicator, has not increased dramatically, but has instead increased slightly by 17 percent from the average of 239 three weeks earlier.
Health officials say this is because people are now protected by vaccines, although in states with less vaccine uptake, hospitals are filling up as the highly contagious Delta strain spreads.
Florida, Missouri and Texas — which currently account for 40 percent of all U.S. cases — are seeing record highs for hospital patients and doctors say they are now bracing for a fourth wave.
Every state and the District of Columbia reports that coronavirus infections have risen or remained stable in the past week
Florida continues to lead the nation in COVID-19 cases with an average of 18,292 cases per day, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
That’s 439 percent of the 3,392 average cases reported two weeks ago.