Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, on Sunday advised the Biden administration to get its agencies on the “same page” when it came to COVID-19 messaging, saying a consistent message would be “enormously helpful.”
Fox News anchor John Roberts asked Jha on “Fox News Sunday” for his thoughts on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 guidelines messaging, noting that Rochelle Walensky, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and President Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci appeared to offer differing guidance when it came to measures like masking.
“Yes, so we have different agencies that have not been on the same page, John. And I think that part has been a real problem,” Jha said, pointing changing COVID-19 norms, including using rapid antigen tests more often as opposed to PCR tests.
“And, so the science here is changing. I think the messages has not kept up,” he said.
As Jha put it, although former President Trump often related incorrect information about the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a singular opposing message with correct information that did not conflict with itself.
“I think the White House needs to get its messaging discipline together, needs to make sure that people are speaking from the same page,” said Jha. “My sense is that that has not been happening consistently. And it would be enormously helpful to the American people if that messaging was more consistent.”
When asked by Roberts if the inconsistent messaging was creating problems, Jha acknowledged that it made it “harder” for people to understand what they should be doing.
During a Senate hearing last week, Walensky and Fauci faced critical questioning about the White House’s confusing COVID-19 guidelines. Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.) slammed the White House for its reversals on certain guidelines, the rollout of coronavirus booster shots and the shortage of COVID-19 testing.
“I’m not questioning the science,” Burr said to Walensky. “But I’m questioning your communication strategies. It’s no wonder the American people are confused.”