On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” co-host Brianna Keilar and CNN Capitol Hill Reporter Melanie Zanona said that it’s “dangerous,” and “irresponsible” for Republicans to attack the CDC and vaccine and mask mandates as part of their midterm messaging.
Keilar said, “Republican lawmakers head back to their home districts for the August recess with the CDC in their crosshairs. We have new CNN reporting that hammering the agency is part of the GOP’s midterm message, seizing on the backlash to new mask and vaccine mandates, casting the CDC as a political arm of the Biden administration. … This is dangerous, Melanie. And tell us what they’re doing.”
Zanona stated, “You’re right. But Republicans certainly feel like they have a potent political message, and that is turning the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci into a punching bag and really railing on these mask and vaccine mandates. And what the GOP is hoping to do is use some of the fears and frustrations of many Americans as cudgels against their Democratic opponents in the battle for the House. And it was really telling that at a House GOP press conference right before the August recess, which the party usually uses to sort of get everyone on the same page and really craft their midterm message, Kevin McCarthy spent almost the entirety of his remarks bashing the CDC and new mask rules. But regardless of whether or not this is a politically effective message, which I think is debatable, it’s certainly an irresponsible and risky strategy given that the Delta variant is surging, that pediatric hospitalizations are on the rise, kids are going back to school. And Democrats also point out, look, we’re all frustrated and angry that we have to wear masks again. But we likely wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for some of the anti-vaccine sentiment that is being spread by many members of the Republican Party.”
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