WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden found out about a significant move by his public health officials this week — one that created the most visible symbol yet of his setback in the battle against Covid-19 — around the same time the news was breaking on cable television.The Tuesday afternoon timing of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official recommendation that individuals who are vaccinated might need to wear masks in some areas left White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who had repeatedly insisted in recent days that they did not, as the first public official to face questions on a policy shift White House officials had only recently learned of themselves.”We are always going to be guided by our North Star, and that is the CDC and our health and medical experts,” she said in response to a crush of questions Monday, as rumors swirled ahead of the official announcement.Throughout the White House, the swift policy change caught staffers by surprise, but the dynamic was far from unfamiliar: Since Biden took office, much of the decision-making and messaging around pandemic policy has been in the hands of public health officials, not politicians.The hands-off approach has at times left his

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