March 23, 2023

White House officials consider new push on masks as Covid cases rise – live

Officials in talks with CDC about updating masking guidance Fully vaccinated people do not need...
  • Officials in talks with CDC about updating masking guidance
  • Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most settings

3.13pm BST

The Wall Street Journal got its hands on a memo from attorney general Merrick Garland reinforcing guidelines for the department of justice’s investigations, a move that is clearly in contrast to how critics saw the work of the department under the last administration. Here’s the Journal’s report:

In a memo addressed to all department personnel, Mr. Garland said the Justice Department “will not advise the White House concerning pending or contemplated criminal or civil law enforcement investigations or cases unless doing so is important for the performance of the President’s duties and appropriate from a law enforcement perspective.”

The memo said those limits—which it said didn’t apply to matters of national security or foreign relations—were necessary to “promote and protect the norms of Departmental independence and integrity.”

2.42pm BST

There’s no uniform consensus among Republican governors (who control the majority of governor’s mansions) over what to do about the coronavirus pandemic. In Missouri for instance, Governor Mike Parsons unveiled a new set of incentives for people to get vaccinated, following the example of other Republican governors like West Virginia’s Jim Justice or Ohio’s Mike DeWine.

But in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, who is up for reelection, is refusing to impose a statewide mask mandate even though cases are on the rise. Via the Texas Tribune:

Gov. Greg Abbott says he will not impose another statewide mask mandate, despite COVID-19 cases being on the rise again.

“There will be no mask mandate imposed, and the reasons for that are very clear,” Abbott told KPRC-TV in Houston on Tuesday. “There are so many people who have immunities to COVID, whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it, which would be acquired immunity.”

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