Clearly Kristen Welker has her finger on the pulse of the American people. That is, if the American people are spending their energy wondering if Joe Biden's opinion on mask-wearing differs from the dude ordering a patty melt in a diner in Nassau County.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki had already answered the question of reconciling Biden's continuing to follow CDC guidelines on COVID and mask-wearing with the fact that some states were easing restrictions on mask-wearing mandates. She'd explained that states have always been free to implement the restrictions they please, but Biden was going to follow the guidance of the CDC. Seems fairly simple.
Not to Welker, apparently. She decided to put her own GOP talking-point spin on the very same question by phrasing it as if Biden was "out of touch" by doing *checks notes* exactly what he said he'd do both on the campaign trail, and his entire year in office.
"Does the administration risk looking out of touch with where the country is heading, in terms of lifting these mask mandates if the CDC doesn't revise its guidelines?" Welker asked Psaki.
Psaki spelled it out for her, reminding her that a fairly large portion of the country agree with and appreciate Joe Biden's following the CDC's advice on masks.
"Well, again, we understand where the emotions of the country are, right? People are tired of masks. I would say, not even if you look at the polling, though, there is also a huge chunk of people who still want masks, right? So, it's not even that specific," Psaki told her.
THANK you. We don't govern on emotions. We don't make life or death decisions for the entire nation based on the impatience of emotionally stunted, steroid-enraged, "do my own research" idiots. We follow people with expert opinions who have devoted decades of their lives to the study of disease spread and prevention, thank you very much.
Psaki continued, "It's just that, as you note, there are some states that are moving towards rolling back, or giving more choice to local communities about how they will implement these requirements." Some of those states, mind you, are seeing improved COVID numbers and increased vaccinations, which makes it slightly less risky for them to roll back requirements. There has always been a connection between those who follow the science and a pathway out of the pandemic.
"But, again, from the federal government, what our responsibility to do is to abide what the president committed to on the campaign, which is to listen to scientists, listen to data. That doesn't move at the speed of politics, that moves at the speed of data. And they, Dr. Walensky committed to, conveyed, or I should say, confirmed that they were evaluating this at the CDC," Psaki concluded.
Seeing she'd get nowhere with her Republican line of questioning geared towards trying to make Biden look feeble and weak, Welker decided to move on to the infinitely less complex problem of Russian troop build-up on Ukraine's border.