Psaki brief: Vaccine, Mask Guidelines, Student Loan 4/27/2021
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April 27, 2021

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On 4/27/2021, during the news briefing, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki, “Just for clarity. Since the whole cabinet isn’t going to be either, in the past, there would be a designated survivor, as they say. Is there a designated survivor on a night like tomorrow night? And who would that be?”

Psaki: There does not need to be a designated survivor because the cabinet will be watching from their offices or home, but they will not be joining him for the speech.

Mary: On India and the explosion of COVID cases there, the UK and Canada have already instituted a travel ban in regards to India. Why isn’t the US doing the same?

Jen Psaki: We would make those determinations based on the advice of our health and medical team. They haven’t made that determination at this point.

Ed: A year ago this week it was said in this room how sunlight might kill the virus and make outdoor transmission unlikely. Clearly things are a little different now, but why have Americans had to wait this long for today’s guidance when to many it was quite obvious that this was what the next step was?

Jen Psaki: Well, Ed, I think we want Americans to be confident in the information they’re receiving from the federal government. It’s been important to us to lead with health and medical experts, to provide them the time they need to make these evaluations so that when the CDC comes out with guidance, the American people know they can trust it. We are working to clean up from a great deal of misinformation, inaccurate information that was put out by the last administration, some of it politically tinged. Therefore we’ve been really leading into the timeline of the health and medical team and experts.

Ed: If there’s anyone out there who questions whether this decision coming right before the big speech and right before the 100 days, you guys would say?

Jen Psaki: I can assure you that the CDC makes decisions and does evaluations on their own timeline.

Question: And on another topic, it’s been probably about a week, I think, since someone in this room is asked the question about the student loan forgiveness or cancellation. I know that the Department of Education was working on some sort of review of what was possible. Is that review going to be something that will be completed in time to make Chuck Schumer a very happy senator tomorrow night? Or is that something that will have to wait a little while longer?

Jen Psaki: The review is ongoing. Hopefully, we will make Senator Leader Schumer happy in other ways in the speech, but the review is ongoing. Go ahead in the back.

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