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Either because of public pressure or because a switch in their brains finally went off, the Biden administration has at last abandoned its coronavirus paranoia and is now forging ahead with a reasonable plan to restore the country to its pre-pandemic norm.
The abrupt switch in messaging has been so drastic that even the administration’s top coronavirus “expert,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, is finally jumping on the bandwagon.
Speaking Thursday on CNN, he stunningly called for schools to reopen fully with almost no strings attached by fall. The remarks marked a stunning reversal for him.
“I believe that schools should be open five days full blast, just the way it was before. That — we really have to do that by the time we get to the fall,” he said.
This prompted host Jake Tapper to ask if this would also mean no masks for children who’ve been vaccinated.
“Right. Well, again, I’m going to leave that to the CDC to make that decision. But I would think that that certainly would be an option if the children are vaccinated not to have a mask,” Fauci replied.
Watch the full discussion below:
His remarks came hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a bombshell new policy allowing those who’ve been vaccinated to walk freely indoors and outdoors without a mask.
“We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy. Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines and our understanding of how the virus spreads, that moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing.
President Joe Biden even personally promoted the news by posting the following tweet that admittedly wasn’t well-received because of its bossy, authoritarian tenor:
After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 13, 2021
It’s a drastic switch in messaging.
It was only two weeks ago that Walensky defended the CDC’s “draconian” mask-wearing rules for children who’re outdoors:
Today’s CDC guidance about vaccinated people makes moments like this from LAST WEEK look even more absurd in retrospect… https://t.co/8HZFs4bvtk
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) May 13, 2021
And it was only three weeks ago that Fauci said that children should wear masks outdoors even when they’re playing sports:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 29, 2021
What changed? One possibility is the polling data.
A Morning Consult poll published this week revealed that a record “new low” of adults believe “Americans should continue to social distance for as long as is needed to the curb the spread of the coronavirus, even it it means continued damage to the economy.”
More notably, the poll found that a 58 percent majority of Americans — including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans — are ready to return to their normal pre-pandemic lives.
The poll was published Wednesday, a day before the CDC suddenly changed course. Coincidence or conspiracy? Some think it’s the letter:
After a couple of weeks of serious ridicule, the administration reverses on masks and goes fully to “schools will be open 5 days a week.” The polling must be really bad.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) May 14, 2021
Fauci is, nevertheless, unwilling to concede that the pandemic is over.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s essentially over. I think this is a very important step in the direction of trying to get back to some degree of normality, because this is something that everyone has had on their mind, you know, I’m vaccinated, when can I start doing things a little bit more in the normal trend,” he told Tapper.
“And being able to go around without a mask indoors, as well as outdoors is really a big step in that direction. So I wouldn’t want to declare victory prematurely. But I’m saying this is clearly a step in the direction that we want to go,” he added.
Though to be clear, it’s a step that was already taken on the state level by certain GOP governors months ago, much to the chagrin of Biden who, at the time, accused Republican governors of displaying “Neanderthal thinking.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 4, 2021
The consensus among the left at the time was that the elimination of mask mandates in states like Florida, Mississippi and Texas would trigger another surge.
But that never happened. Instead, the pandemic continued to recede, to the point that the Biden administration is now following the lead of the same governors the president had trash-talked just months earlier …
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