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Sans mask, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor pulls out the race card, pressures WH on reversing new CDC guidance

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Elitist White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor pushed the Biden administration on whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should yield to the nation’s largest nurses union and reverse recently upgraded guidance on wearing masks.

All the while, the PBS NewsHour reporter is seen asking the question sans mask.

National Nurses United has condemned the new CDC guidance that says people who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks: “This newest CDC guidance is not based on science, does not protect public health, and threatens the lives of patients, nurses, and other frontline workers across the country.”

Naturally, there was a racial component here, which Alcindor was sure to note, but omitted the CDC’s study in March that found obesity, not race, to be a key factor in Covid deaths.

“There has been so much inequity in the vaccine rollout and racial inequity in who is a frontline worker put most at risk by this guidance,” NNU President Zenei Triunfo-Cortez said. “The impact of the CDC’s guidance update will be felt disproportionately by workers of color and their families and communities.”

(Video: The Washington Post)

While White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration had no response directly to the nurses union, she stressed the “science” behind the decision.

“The objective of the CDC and of [Director Rochelle Walensky] was to deliver on the commitment she made to the American people, which is to provide guidance based on health and scientific evidence on what people can do that is safe,” Psaki said. “So, her guidance that was put out last week makes clear that if you’ve been vaccinated, their recommendation is that you’re safe not to wear a mask inside, outside, and when you are not in large public gatherings.”

Adding that they respect and value alternative views, she added, “Our view is that science is the North Star. She was delivering on her promise and we will continue to work with a range of communities on implementation.”

Alcindor followed up by citing the proverbial “some people” to express concern about a reliance on the honor system to know who has been vaccinated, a seemingly back door attempt to ask about vaccine passports.

“What do you say to people who think that it’s worrisome to be operating on an honor system and that it could put kids or even immune-compromised Americans at risk?” she asked.

Psaki said the guidance informs the public about what they can do to be safe, adding that it’s “actually pretty clear” in that it “gives people the information and the power to be able to protect themselves.”

In yet another follow-up, Alcindor questioned whether the American people can be trusted to follow the CDC guidelines.

Psaki deferred, saying people are being “empowered.”

In what amounted to a fourth follow-up, Alcindor asked about the administration not tracking people who get the virus after being vaccinated unless they’re hospitalized or die.

In the event Alcondor’s political leanings didn’t shine through, she would also ask a question about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where Israel is retaliating harshly in response to thousands of Hamas missiles raining down from the skies, questioning whether “war crimes” are being committed.

“Is the President at all concerned just about the number of civilians that are being killed?” she asked. “That’s why some of these experts are telling The New York Times that these are war crimes.”

Tom Tillison

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