Stefanik: CDC's New Mask Guidance 'Political' to Benefit Biden Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks to members of the press after an election for House Republican Conference chair at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center May 14, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 17 May 2021 11:58 AM
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's decision to suddenly issue guidance to lift its guidelines on mask-wearing looks "political" considering "last week was the worst week of Joe Biden's presidency," newly elected House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said Monday.
"The gas prices are the highest that they have been in seven years," the New York Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "When you think about one of the worst jobs report in over 20 years, when you think about (how) small businesses are struggling to hire, that guidance or that finding was three months ago, so the CDC was late in putting that out."
She added that it is frustrating when Democrat governors, like in her home state, are refusing to follow the CDC's new guidance, which said that in most, but not all cases, people who are fully vaccinated are safe to go without masks.
Biden has scolded Republican leaders for refusing to follow the CDC's guidance in the past, but has not spoken out against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said last week that he and state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had not yet decided if the state would accept the CDC's new guidelines.
"There are a lot of reasons why president Biden should be scolding Cuomo," said Stefanik. "He is the worst governor in America, and the further we get into combating this pandemic, the more we are seeing this. This is not the first time that Gov. Cuomo hasn't followed public health advice."
Cuomo, she added, is under investigation because of the nursing home deaths during the early part of the pandemic in addition to not following "guidance in terms of protecting our vulnerable seniors."
"This is about power for Gov. Cuomo," Stefanik added. "He is facing numerous federal and state investigations and he should be prosecuted immediately. The White House should be speaking out with clarity and calling out these Democratic governors who are playing politics with this rather than following the advice of public health (officials)."
Meanwhile, after the election last week to replace Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as head of the House Republican Conference, Stefanik said it's important now that voters should know members of her party are united in "exposing the far-left radical agenda" of Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"Voters want to hear the issues that matter to them," she continued. "We have an economic crisis, we have an energy crisis, we have a border crisis, and a national security crisis. Republicans are unified. We need to make a change to make sure the American people are hearing issues that matter to their everyday lives."
Cheney was voted out after her strong opposition to former President Donald Trump, including voting to impeach him and speaking out against his contentions about the 2020 election.
Stefanik, meanwhile, has also faced criticism when she was being considered as Cheney's replacement, as Cheney had a higher record of voting for measures pushed by Trump.
"First of all, I supported President Trump in 2016 when he was on the ballot, and if you look at the campaign ads that Democrats ran against me. I was the only elected Republican woman from the entire northeast that voted for President Trump, so I supported him from the beginning," Stefanik said Monday. "I support funding for the wall. I represent Border Patrol agents in my district who are being sent to the southern border. And every time there has been an appropriations bill for the wall, I have voted for that, because I think we have a crisis at the southern border that's not just impacting our southern states but it's impacting every community across the nation."