[Ed. – Buyer’s remorse on the rise?]
Standing maskless in the White House Rose Garden on a sunny May afternoon, President Biden heralded some happy news. “If you’ve been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask,” the president declared. “It’s vaxxed or masked.”
Less than three months later, amid rising cases driven by the delta variant and more breakthrough coronavirus infections, Biden was forced this week to back away from that proclamation. The administration issued new guidance Tuesday that encourages fully vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in places with substantial infection levels, encompassing more than 60 percent of the nation’s counties.
This new landscape — and, some say, the administration’s less than clear messaging — is complicating Biden’s efforts to show that he is still leading the United States out of the pandemic, his presidency’s central promise.