Progressives expressed frustration with President Joe Biden and his team for their response to his positive COVID-19 test.
Biden, 79, on Thursday tweeted he was "doing well" in a video after he tested positive.
Biden has continued to work after his diagnosis, and unmasked White House officials have provided updates on his status. The administration also has refused to call for new mandates or restrictions, irking leftists.
"I think Biden's own COVID response is what made this [illness] inevitable, really," Artie Vierkant, co-host of a leftist podcast that has promoted a universal mask mandate and paid sick leave for those with COVID-19, told The Washington Post.
"He's just one of tens or hundreds of thousands of people who are going to test positive for COVID today."
The Post reported that Julia Raifman, a Boston University public health professor who has called for federal support for mandates, blamed the White House for pushing a "back-to-normal" stance that it's "not correcting" in the face of new variants.
"I think this is a moment to reckon with high transmission and that we should aspire to a better normal than this," Raifman told the Post. "We've already lost more than 500,000 people to COVID during this administration. … This is an opportunity to not minimize or exaggerate the president's infection — and to acknowledge that it is a serious illness for people who are over 70."
Blue areas such as San Diego and Los Angeles County are reintroducing mask mandates despite the presence of vaccines, treatments, and a population that has largely developed antibodies to fight the disease, the Washington Examiner reported.
The White House press corps badgered officials about Biden's condition during press briefings Thursday and Friday.
Reporters asked if the person who filmed Biden's video was masked, about when Biden began isolating, and about when close contacts were notified.
One reporter asked if there are regrets about the amount of time Biden recently has spent unmasked in public, shaking hands, hugging people, and fist-bumping.
"Not at all," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answered.
Despite the media frenzy, American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Philip Wallach said the White House's response to Biden testing positive likely was aligned with where most of the public is on the issue.
"For all that the COVID-forever crowd wants us to get excited about this latest wave, the basic fact is that there has been no big death wave this time," Wallach told the Examiner.
"People who want vaccines can get them. And I think the vast majority of people want to move on — even if those who don't are overrepresented in the White House press corps. So on both the merits and the politics, I don't find the Biden administration's desire to treat this as a non-event to be particularly surprising. A huge portion of the country has now experienced having COVID as a non-event for themselves by this point."
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