NBC News correspondent Carol Lee said Tuesday Democrats are telling her President Joe Biden looks “weak” and is not presenting leadership in connection to COVID-19 policies.
“There are Democrats that I have spoken to that have said ‘look, the president looks weak here, he could’ve come out and owned this moment, this transition in the country where people are taking off their masks in transportation.’ He didn’t do that. Instead, he’s being led by the courts and then the other side of that is other Democrats say ‘well, if he did come out, own that,” she said. “There’s polling that shows Democrats like these mask mandates, at least some of them do and they’re more inclined to mask up.”
“And he risks offending those people in his own party,” she continued. “So, what you’re seeing is this just allowing the courts to make this decision even though you heard White House press secretary Jen Psaki say just moments ago that public health decisions should not be made by the courts. The concern that some Democrats have is that this just looks like a lack of leadership on critical issues.”
She said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been a “scapegoat” for the administration, but officials have expressed frustration over the president not having “control over the situation.” (RELATED: The Biden Administration Is Ignoring The Science On Airplane Masking)
“There’s some frustration, it’s not clear if it’s targeted exactly at the CDC at this time,” she continued.
A federal judge struck down the CDC’s mask mandate for public transportation on Monday ruling that it exceeds the agency’s statutory authority under the Administrative Procedure Act. The ruling came after the CDC announced that mask mandates on public transportation would be extended for at least two more weeks in the upcoming month of May.
The president said wearing a mask is now “up to” the American people when asked about the recent ruling on Tuesday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is still recommending that people follow CDC guidelines on wearing masks on planes and other public transportation. She also revealed that appeal is on the table.