The White House has made it official — and Democrats likely aren’t happy.
The Washington Examiner reports that the White House has announced it won’t be vetting visitors to confirm whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. The development comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared in its latest guidelines that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited the updated guidance from the CDC when speaking to reporters Friday.
“That’s not the role we’re going to play,” Psaki said of forcing White House visitors to offer up their vaccination status. That was “not in our intended plan,” she explained.
The White House allowed more visitors this week than any since President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Examiner noted. Events including the signing of a bill to fight hate crimes by Biden and a Medal of Honor ceremony were said to have been widely attended.
The Washington Examiner reports that “aides and guests were seen shaking hands, hugging, and kissing in between the formalities, at odds with pandemic social-distancing precautions.” Still, tours at the White House remain scarce as a result of the pandemic, according to reports.
“We’re back,” Psaki said in response to the news, noting that the CDC’s updated guidelines allow for “more events with more people and, certainly, continuing to open the White House up — the People’s House — up to the American public.”
She went on: “I can confirm we are a warm and fuzzy crew, and we like to hug around here, but we were waiting for that to be allowed by CDC guidelines, which we certainly abide by.”
According to the CDC, Americans who are two weeks out from their final dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or from their sole dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot for COVID-19 are considered to be “fully vaccinated.” Under its new guidelines, “[f]ully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by” local or federal laws.
The new recommendations, released earlier this month, prompted Biden to give Americans an ultimatum. “The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” a tweet from the president’s Twitter account read, according to Fox News. “The choice is yours.”
Now, however, it appears that the White House will not be enforcing this rule — at least, not when it comes to visitors.
In the meantime, Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) continue to insist that the “honor system” isn’t good enough. The speaker has vowed to continue requiring members of Congress to don face coverings on the House floor over the objections of Republicans.