WASHINGTON − The White House made clear to beer drinkers Friday that President Joe Biden does not support new U.S. guidelines to limit their weekly consumption.
Conservative media outlets and Republican lawmakers this week seized on comments from George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, to accuse the Biden administration of considering the same alcohol and health guidelines as Canada, which advises no more than two alcoholic drinks per week.
“This claim is absolutely false,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, singling out a story from the Daily Mail that claims in a headline, “US alcohol guidelines could be slashed to just TWO DRINKS PER WEEK.”
The Daily Mail story caused uproar among Republicans for quoting Koob saying he was observing Canada’s new health recommendations that individuals consume no more than two alcoholic drinks per week to “avoid alcohol-related consequences.”
“If there’s health benefits, I think people will start to re-evaluate where we’re at (in the US),” Koob told The Daily Mail. “If (alcohol consumption guidelines) go in any direction, it would be toward Canada.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s dietary guidelines are under review and will be updated in 2025.
The current CDC guidelines are that men limit acholic drinks to two or fewer on days when alcohol is consumed and women no more than one a day.
At a White House press briefing earlier this week, a reporter asked Jean-Pierre whether Biden wants to limit Americans to two beers a week.
“Where is this coming from?” Jean-Pierre said. “I’ve not seen the data. I cannot speak to this. I will leave it to the experts and not weigh in.”
Koob never said he planned to recommend the same guidelines as Canada. And as guidelines, the CDC recommendations are not requirements or enforceable.
Still, Republicans accused Biden of wanting to take away their beers, likening it to environmental efforts to ban gas stoves and ceiling fans − both of which are not in effect at the federal level.
“Now these idiots have come out and said drink two beers a week,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a video on X, pulling out a beer to drink. “That’s their guideline. Well, I’ve got to tell you, if they want us to drink two beers a week, frankly, they can kiss my ass.”
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: President Biden doesn’t back stricter beer guidelines, White House says