Republican lawmakers questioned the timing of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to ease indoor mask requirements on Thursday as the Biden administration contends with crises on several fronts.
Biden faced intense pressure this week from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle who called for decisive action amid escalating military clashes between Israel and Hamas, a ransomware attack that crippled the largest fuel supplier on the Eastern Seaboard, and concerns about inflation that weighed on the stock market.
The CDC’s announcement led some Republicans, including Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., to question what prompted the sudden shift in guidance.
“While the new mask guidance is encouraging, the CDC and my Far Radical Left colleagues only chose to do this to distract from the consequences of catastrophic policy decisions that have been heard around the world,” said Biggs, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. “Inflation is rising, the Middle East is in shambles, the working class can’t fill up their gas tanks, our border is being overrun and the Biden Administration’s leadership is nowhere to be found.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s announcement marked a significant departure in recent guidance from the agency, which warned as recently as late March of “impending doom” as some states loosened restrictions. Biden personally addressed the decision in a speech from the Rose Garden, saying it marked a “great day” for America.
“Why today? The science hasn’t changed,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote on Twitter.
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