White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said the guidance for mask wearing hadn’t changed, even as the delta variant, which spreads more aggressively, now accounts for an estimated 83% of cases nationwide. It is the predominant coronavirus strain in every region.
Watch the briefing in the player above.
Psaki said the country was still ‘at war’ with the coronavirus.
Although health officials are warning the U.S. is at another critical juncture in the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not changed its guidance that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks.
Asked about Governor Ron DeSantis’ comments that masks were uncomfortable for children and that Florida would not be mandating them to be worn in schools, Psaki said “if I were a parent in Florida, that would be greatly concerning to me because kids under the age of 12 are not vaccinated.”
Psaki also said the White House agreed with the decision by Tokyo Olympics organizers to dismissed the opening show’s director over past comments about the Holocaust. Director Kentaro Kobayashi, who is a comedian, reportedly made an anti-Semitic joke in a 1998 show.
But she said first lady Jill Biden will still plan to attend the opening ceremony.
Mrs Biden is in Tokyo on her first solo international trip as first lady, leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympic Games. Her schedule includes dinner with the prime minister, meeting the emperor and attending Friday’s Olympics opening ceremony.