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Biden Let His Scientists Speak. The Results Were... Messy.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos via Getty

Earlier this month, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters that teachers did not need COVID-19 vaccine shots to return to the classroom safely.

It seemed, at the time, like a relatively straightforward statement, one several studies conducted by the CDC had supported. But the comment sent Biden administration officials spinning, in part because the White House was not prepared to make an official announcement on schools. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Walensky was “speaking in her personal capacity” when she made the comment; Psaki’s statement then raised questions of its own since Walensky was speaking very much in her official capacity as the director of the CDC at the press conference.

The CDC eventually published its recommendations, which clearly stated schools did not need to vaccinate staff in order to safely reopen. But Biden political figures continued to dodge questions about the guidance until Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical officer, told CBS This Morning what the science told him: “To make it a sine qua non that you don’t open a school until every teacher is vaccinated I think is not workable.”

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