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Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate

The Hill
The Hill
 2021-07-31
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© Greg Nash

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) mask guidance amid the increased spread of the delta variant and the potential for long infrastructure negotiations in the Senate are expected to dominate this week's Sunday show circuit.

On Tuesday, the CDC issued new mask guidance, stating that fully vaccinated people should wear masks inside public areas in parts of the country where there are “substantial” or “high” levels of COVID-19 transmission.

Officials cited data which showed that the delta variant, now considered the most dominant strain in the U.S., could still be carried and transmitted by fully vaccinated individuals.

For the two-week period ending in July 17, the delta variant made up 83 percent of all sequenced cases of COVID-19. It was a jump from several weeks prior when the variant made up an estimated 50 percent of all cases counted during the week of July 3.

The news comes as health officials are increasingly worried that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction after the rate of vaccinations dropped off since the beginning of the year.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” last Sunday, President Biden ’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said the pandemic was now “outbreak among the unvaccinated” and said the U.S. was “going in the wrong direction," projecting future COVID-19 case increases.

“If you look at the inflection of the curve of new cases and as you said in the run in to this interview, that it is among the unvaccinated, and since we have 50 percent of the country is not fully vaccinated, that's a problem, particularly when you have a variant, like delta, which has this extraordinary characteristic of being able to spread very efficiently and very easily from person to person, and we know we have many, many, many vulnerable people in this country who are unvaccinated,” Fauci said.

Though public health experts praised the CDC’s updated guidance, Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis (Fla.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), have blasted officials who reinstated mask mandates in light of the new CDC guidance.

Fauci is scheduled to appear on ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

Former Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb will appear also appear on the CBS show.

Meanwhile in the Senate, Republicans and Democrats are preparing for potentially lengthy conversations as the two sides try to come to an agreement over the finalized text of a bipartisan bill that would allocate $1.2 trillion in infrastructure over eight years.

On Wednesday, Biden and the core group of bipartisan negotiators scored a win in advancing their infrastructure deal after all 50 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted to advance the legislation.

However, Republicans anticipate offering a number of amendments to the bill targeting broadband language and funding. Democrats also anticipate offering some amendments of their own, including on broadband and drinking water language.

Biden and the bipartisan group of senators are anxious to have a deal finalized, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already signaled that he wants the bill passed in a matter of days.

Democrats have been especially anxious to wrap up the bipartisan deal, complaining that the process has taken away time that could have been spent on their much larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) issued a warning this week, saying that if the Senate failed to pass the bipartisan bill, it would doom Senate Democrats’ reconciliation bill.

“I would say that if a bipartisan infrastructure bill falls apart, everything could fall apart,” Manchin told reporters. “Both of them are extremely important, but [if] one falls apart, how do you do the other one? How’s the other one become more important?”

Manchin is scheduled to appear on CBS’ “Face The Nation” and CNN’s “State of the Union.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) another moderate senator who is part of negotiations will appear on "Stat of the Union."

Below is the full list of guests scheduled to be on this week’s Sunday talk shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Fauci, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg , Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Preempted by coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.

CBS’ “Face the Nation" — Fauci; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.),Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel’s director of public health services.

CNN’s “State of the Union” — Manchin, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

“Fox News Sunday” — Collins, Gov. Henry McMaster (R-S.C.), Brian Deese , director of the White House National Economic Council

FOX News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Stephen Miller , Founder America First Legal, Dr. Ben Carson , former HUD Secretary, Larry Lindsey, President & CEO of The Lindsey Group

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