ABC political director and analyst Rick Klein called out the Biden administration for what he called “mixed messaging” following the president’s new COVID-19 guidance, which Klein argued was a “backslide” from comments the president made a few weeks earlier.
President Biden announced last week that federal workers would be mandated to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, wear masks and practice social distancing. His remarks came on the heels of the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing concerns about the new delta variant, which is reportedly more transmissible than other variants, urging fully vaccinated individuals in some areas of the country with “high” or “substantial” COVID-19 transmission to once again mask up indoors.
Klein argued that at this point the White House’s “reservoir of good will” has run dry. And it couldn’t come at a worse time, he suggested, as this is a time when the country is looking for “national unity.”
“You can blame the virus for being confusing and adjusting,” Klein said on Sunday. “But at this stage you don’t have a reservoir of good will that the Biden administration has been able to build up because there’s been conflicting information, there’s been conflicting advice, the science has been changing. We don’t know what zone we’re living in or what the mandate’s going to be for indoors versus outdoors, vaccinated, unvaccinated.”
On divisions in Congress over COVID-19 despite bipartisan efforts, @ABC political director @rickklein tells @jonkarl, with Republicans in “open defiance” of federal recommendations, “you have a major clash, and a clash that has public health consequences.” https://t.co/0TdVlUVnDX pic.twitter.com/K0T3REa5Nr
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 1, 2021
It was only in May that Biden announced that fully vaccinated people would “no longer” need to wear masks. When Fox News’ Peter Doocy confronted Biden on the apparent flip flop, Biden insisted his statement “was true at the time.”
“They want their lives back,” Klein said of Americans. “And Joe Biden told us just a few weeks ago, told the American people, that we were about there, getting our lives back. Now we’re seeing this backslide. We’re seeing his advice adjusting. And it is confusing.” – READ MORE