“It’s the right decision wrongly handled"

But the huge policy turnaround caught senior White House and administration officials, medical experts, elected officials and business leaders completely off guard, and prompted some physicians to criticize the move as premature. Some Democratic governors were angered by the White House’s rollout, arguing the move effectively passed the buck to states and businesses to implement the new rules without any assistance...

And when White House officials asked what they felt were basic questions — such as what the new guidance meant for businesses and children under 12 not yet eligible for vaccines — they felt CDC officials did not have sufficient answers. They also worried that the mixed messages over the course of the week would leave many Americans confused and key questions unanswered.

“You want talking points. You want to brief people,” one person in contact with the White House said. “It’s the right decision wrongly handled.”