Rising case count reignites debate over COVID-19 restrictions

Biden administration officials are discussing the potential for tougher guidelines to blunt the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, but the White House will have to weigh how new measures might affect its overall vaccination push.

The rise in infections around the country has sparked calls from some health experts to reimpose stricter masking guidance and other efforts designed to slow the spread of the virus. Doing so would likely set off criticism from conservatives and spark enforcement issues, as some Republican governors have vowed not to return to restrictions on businesses.

White House officials — wary of any appearance that they are politicizing health guidelines — have been adamant that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will have the final say on whether new guidance is needed.