Political Divisions May Be Exacerbated By White House Message Dominance On Pandemics

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : August 4, 2021

Every Friday or every two weeks, the White House releases its official report on the Coronavirus pandemic.

President Biden led the way during the second year of the pandemic, as former President Trump led the first. Although it is important to have the White House and President in the lead during an emergency as large as this, the near-total control of the response by the White House will likely further widen the unhelpful political divides that make fighting Coronavirus more difficult than it needs to be.

Several updated statistics are given, a prediction is made about where the outbreak will go, and a research article or two is provided to help explain the latest understanding of Covid-19,’ says Dr. Walensky. Jefferson Zients oversees all of this on behalf of the White House. White House staff are organizing the event, and health reporters and political reporters are attending. Despite being shorter and frequently discussing the federal government’s involvement, the briefings follow the science, just as Joe Biden promised upon taking office in January. Stamped with the White House logo, they are deeply branded.

Political Divisions May Be Exacerbated By White House Message Dominance On Pandemics

A little bit of an exception occurred this week. In a solitary speech on Thursday, Vice President Biden discussed the new federal vaccine regulations. The FDA released new recommendations regarding masks on Tuesday — this includes full vaccine recipients who are indoors in areas where there is a high risk of Coronavirus transmission. She mentioned science as a reason for the CDC decision, without mentioning politics.

Political Divisions May Be Exacerbated By White House Message Dominance On Pandemics

It was a teleconference organized by the CDC in which she briefed alone. In an earlier briefing on vaccines, held in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, this was the first CDC briefing since the White House backed out. Walensky’s speech was already overshadowed, however, by the White House leaking the new guidance hours before I spoke. White House officials admitted they had been involved, if not in deciding when to announce the guidance change, at least in making the announcement. It is an understandable and deliberate move.

Using its executive authority to call for an entire government response is the White House’s goal. According to Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, it was always politically motivated.

Biden and those he appoints are at the center of attention. In most circumstances, it could even be desirable that the president is accompanied by medical and science advisors during a pandemic. It is an approach, however, that may exacerbate the deep political rifts already present in this pandemic, which is unlike any other in living memory.

During the pandemic, it became increasingly evident that there are two Americas – one in which people trust science and what the federal government says, and another one in which people ignore what the Biden administration has to say. Without accepting that the administration also wants science, there is little chance for people to accept it. The conservatives are incapable of accepting science without also accepting direction from liberals they see as out to ruin the country.

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The case for rejecting vaccines when you support Trump

People who support Trump are often the same people refusing to wear masks, piling into parties, cramming into restaurants, or sitting side by side at sporting events. In countries where Trump holds a majority of the vote, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Missouri, infections are increasing most, except for California.

The Biden administration is outreaching to Republican lawmakers in non-vaccine-friendly states, persuading them to vote for immunization at the state level, with varying results. Local churches and community organizations are being used to conduct local pandemic vaccination and communication campaigns in conjunction with federal funds.

In addition, it is allowing scientists to speak, mainly from the White House platform. While CDC directors and Surgeon Generals’ words receive national attention, their advice might be tainted in the process.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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