The White House and establishment media battled Friday over coronavirus messaging, a rare divide in an otherwise unified relationship.
“The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated,” the New York Times tweeted.
But White House Coronavirus Response official Ben Wakana slammed the New York Times for failing to provide sufficient context in its reporting about transmit.
“VACCINATED PEOPLE DO NOT TRANSMIT THE VIRUS AT THE SAME RATE AS UNVACCINATED PEOPLE AND IF YOU FAIL TO INCLUDE THAT CONTEXT YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG,” Wakana retweeted the response:
VACCINATED PEOPLE DO NOT TRANSMIT THE VIRUS AT THE SAME RATE AS UNVACCINATED PEOPLE AND IF YOU FAIL TO INCLUDE THAT CONTEXT YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. https://t.co/gBkDbJ21xX
— Ben Wakana (@benwakana46) July 30, 2021
The Washington Post was the next target for the White House Coronavirus Response official for tweeting, “Vaccinated people made up three-quarters of those infected in a massive Massachusetts covid-19 outbreak, pivotal CDC study finds”:
Super interesting: the WH's COVID response official, @benwakana46, is vocally slamming both the NYT and the WashPost over the last two hours for alarmism and sensationalism about the danger of the Delta variant for vaccinated people and their propensity to spread the virus: pic.twitter.com/U0FRxjqtfa
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 30, 2021
“Completely irresponsible,” the White House responded. “3 days ago the CDC made clear that vaccinated individuals represent a VERY SMALL amount of transmission occurring around the country. Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.”
“Unreal to not put that in context,” Wakana added.
The establishment media, for their part, pushed back on the White House’s coronavirus testing protocols earlier in the week.
Politico questioned why “weekly Covid testing [is] a reasonable substitute for vaccination” and asked “public health experts to weigh in” on the question.
One expert responded, “Tests, especially those conducted only weekly, are not a suitable alternative to vaccination.”
Likewise, a Post reporter disagreed with President Joe Biden’s method of “shaming” or “attacking” the unvaccinated for “not wearing masks.”
“If people are vaccinated, I don’t understand the point of shaming or attacking them for not wearing masks. Democrats or Republicans. Why are we doing this?” Josh Dawsey tweeted:
If people are vaccinated, I don’t understand the point of shaming or attacking them for not wearing masks. Democrats or Republicans. Why are we doing this?
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) July 30, 2021
The Biden administration’s surrender to coronavirus was also underscored by a leaked memo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which the Post published Thursday and “captures the struggle of the nation’s top public health agency to persuade the public to embrace vaccination and prevention measures, including mask-wearing, as cases surge across the United States and new research suggests vaccinated people can spread the virus.”
The Post’s leaked internal document also suggested, “The agency (CDC) must move the goal posts of success in full public view” while also admitting that “people were told they no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors if they had been vaccinated.”