Tapper to Anita Dunn: Hey, why is Biden still wearing a mask outdoors?

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to Joe Biden, was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday morning. On State of the Union, it was painfully clear that she is out of practice in doing cable news Sunday morning shows. The interview was a hot mess, to put it bluntly.

Dunn looked to be ill-prepared to answer some really basic questions, questions she surely should have known would arise. She’s no political neophyte, she was acting White House Communications Director from April through November 2009 in the Obama administration. Communication is supposed to be her area of expertise. Perhaps it is their shared references to Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong that brings her into Biden’s inner circle in the White House. Her job is to make Biden appear to be in control and competently leading the free world. It’s a big task.

Jake Tapper asked her about Biden’s continued use of a face mask outdoors, in particular. Biden made an announcement to the general public many days ago that it’s acceptable for vaccinated people to go maskless outdoors, according to the CDC. It’s a legitimate question for a Biden adviser, one that many of us ask when we watch him do so. Why isn’t Biden following the CDC’s recommendation himself? After all, CNN’s own medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said on Friday that Biden seems “overly cautious” in his use of face masks. She admitted that at this point, Biden’s zealous use of masks looks like performance art. Tapper briefly went over the latest guidance from the CDC and posed a question to Dunn.

“Should the president start following these guidelines,” he asked, “and stop wearing a mask outdoors, stop wearing a mask indoors when with small groups of other vaccinated Americans, to show the American people there is a benefit to getting the vaccine, you can take the mask off?”

Dunn said the president “takes the CDC guidelines very seriously” and wants to follow the science.

“We do take some extra precautions for him because he is the president of the United States. But I would say that people should follow the CDC guidelines and they should take advantage of getting the vaccine, getting fully vaccinated, and taking that mask off, particularly as the weather grows so beautiful and we all want to be outside,” she continued.

“As we move forward, I think that you will see more and more people enjoying that freedom, getting the vaccine, and realizing it’s one big step towards normalcy in this country,” Dunn added.

Excuse me but this answer is malarkey from start to finish. Biden is following the science? If so, he would not be wearing a mask unless he was indoors and not able to socially distance himself from people who are not vaccinated yet. They are taking extra precautions because he is president? I’m old enough to remember when President Trump contacted COVID-19 and the left howled about his perceived special treatment because he was the president. And, finally, we will never get back to “normalcy” if the president isn’t able to follow CDC guidance but lectures everyone else to do so. He undermines the effectiveness of the vaccines, too, as he continues to wear a mask. Why bother to be vaccinated if all the precautions are still being taken by vaccinated as well as unvaccinated people? Dunn’s answer is nonsensical.

Let’s look at another awkward exchange. Tapper asked Dunn about school reopenings. During an interview on NBC’s TODAY show, Biden said that based on current scientific evidence, schools should “probably all be open”, with implies that the president is ready for schools to be open, right? Well, Dunn put her spin on it and said that Biden said, “probably”, not “absolutely” when he spoke about schools.

“He said ‘probably.’ He did not say ‘absolutely,’ ” Senior Adviser to the President Anita Dunn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “Because we’ve all seen this since unfortunately January of 2020. It’s an unpredictable virus. And it is a virus that has — you know it mutates. So we can’t look in a crystal ball and say what September looks like.”

Dunn’s comments come after Biden said Friday that K-12 schools “should probably all be open” in the fall for in-person learning after more than a year of challenges with remote learning and as more Americans get vaccinated.

“Based on the science and the (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), they should probably all be open. There’s not overwhelming evidence that there’s much of a transmission among these people, young people,” the President had said during an interview with NBC’s “TODAY.”

It’s been bad enough listening to Biden give illogical reasons for school closures and a lack of in-person instruction in many parts of the country but Dunn is now parsing Biden’s words to not offend the teacher unions that Biden is so beholden to and Jill Biden fully supports, being a union member herself. Teachers received vaccinations after being considered as first responders and essential personnel even though schools were closed. Guidelines approved by the CDC have been in effect since February yet the teacher unions refused to get back to in-person learning. In April, the CDC recommended that more schools be opened. Some of their guidelines, such as social distancing, have been relaxed for children in classrooms.

Dunn told Tapper if Americans get vaccinated against Covid-19 and if schools follow CDC guidelines then “we probably should be able to have them open,” encouraging people to seek medical advice before getting a vaccine.

“If they have doubts about it they should ask their doctor. They should ask people who have already gotten it. They should certainly do their own research,” she said.

Does Dunn’s statement on Americans getting vaccinated move the goalposts? Is she saying all Americans have to get vaccinated against COVID before schools can reopen? It sounds like it. If true, parents have to organize and fight this nonsense. This isn’t about public health concerns anymore. It’s about political control. The teacher unions should be busted up since they have been exposed as a detriment to the education of children, out only for their own power and control. If the time is not now to demand better for America’s kids when is?