White House says don't need COVID briefings because Biden is trusted voice

White House says don't need COVID briefings because Biden is trusted voice
White House says don't need COVID briefings because Biden is trusted voice

The White House on Friday argued it did not need to have a briefing from COVID experts amid changing face mask guidelines because President Joe Biden, a 'trusted voice,' was speaking about the matter.

'I would argue that we had the President of the United States speak to this yesterday, he gave more than 30 minute speech about where we are as a country, and he is a trusted voice, he's the leader of our country. We heard from him,' White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked why the country wasn't hearing from medical experts at this time.

The White House is struggling with its messaging on COVID vaccines after President Biden said his administration is exploring a mandate but an adviser quickly walked that back. 

The confusion comes as the White House COVID team - consisting of adviser Jeffrey Zients, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky - have not briefed the public in over a week. Their last briefing was July 22nd.

The trio have made individual appearances in the media and Walensky held a press conference on Tuesday, the day the CDC changed its mask guidelines to ask those fully-vaccinated in high infection areas to wear face masks again. 

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Jean-Pierre argued the health experts are out there: 'We have had our doctors on your networks,' she told the press. 

'They've been out there. They're not hiding. They're actually speaking to this almost every day,' she noted.  

The White House called President Biden a 'trusted voice' on COVID guidelines

The White House called President Biden a 'trusted voice' on COVID guidelines

White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre brushed off questions on why there haven't been briefings recently from health experts

White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre brushed off questions on why there haven't been briefings recently from health experts

The last briefing from the White House's COVID team was on July 22

The last briefing from the White House's COVID team was on July 22

But the changing guidelines and significant percentage of Americans still unvaccinated has led to questions about a national vaccine mandate as COVID cases are on the rise. 

About 67% of eligible US residents have received at least one dose, and the rate of new vaccinations has fallen drastically since the spring. From a peak of 3.4 million shots per day in April, the number of daily new injections is down to around 600,000. About 60% of the country is fully vaccinated. 

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Biden said on Thursday it was still 'a question' as to whether a national vaccine mandate would be legal but said the Justice Department was looking into it. 

'I had asked the Justice Department to determine whether that is -- they're

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