White House Says It’s Preparing For Less-Restrictive Phase Of Pandemic
President Joe Biden speaks about the government's COVID-19 response, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says it is beginning to prepare for the next less-restrictive phase of the pandemic response amid growing impatience for the federal government to ease up.

Even Democratic states are moving to roll back mask mandates in a push toward post-COVID-19 normalcy.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday that officials have started consultations with state and local leaders and public health officials “on steps we should be taking to keep the country moving forward.”

His comments come as states have moved to ease restrictions and guide the nation back toward life unencumbered by the virus.

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