When asked by a reporter whether the White House would reimpose such restrictions, Psaki deferred to the states.
“We certainly support their decisions to implement measures that they think will help their community be safe,” she said. “States are going to have to make evaluations, and local communities are going to have to make evaluations about what is in their interest.”
Noting that there are different rates of vaccination across locales, Psaki said the vaccination rate in the United States, for adults aged 27 and older, is at nearly 70 percent.
Federal officials have been issuing warnings about the Delta COVID-19 variant that has been spreading throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that more than half of all COVID-19 cases are currently caused by the variant, prompting concerns that various state, local, and federal agencies would implement more restrictions.
So far, few municipal governments have issued new restrictions over the Delta variant. Several days ago, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health called on residents to wear face masks despite their vaccination status.
The World Health Organization has also recommended that people wear face coverings, and some countries—including Israel and the UK—have either extended or reimposed lockdowns due to the Delta variant.
However, the recommendations that vaccinated people wear masks and reports of “breakthrough” cases in vaccinated individuals have triggered concerns that the COVID-19 vaccines aren’t working well. Early research from Israel released by the country’s health ministry suggests that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant.
Psaki told reporters in response to the Israeli data that the findings are “preliminary,” and she said the “vast majority of data from larger assessments and larger studies shows that [the vaccine] is quite effective.”
Meanwhile, Psaki and President Joe Biden both announced on July 6 that the administration would send teams of people door to door to provide information to people about vaccines. This federal effort, they said, would target areas with relatively low vaccination rates.
Psaki said the administration’s efforts will include “community door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated.” Neither she nor Biden provided details about when the outreach would be, what kind of questions would be asked, or how long the effort would last.
The announcement drew significant pushback from conservative commentators, who described it as a possible violation of Americans’ right to privacy.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.