Biden Continues Masking Despite CDC Updates (Getty Images)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Saturday, 01 May 2021 07:20 PM
President Joe Biden this week gave a speech outdoors, remarking on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidelines that masks are not necessary outdoors. Biden then walked away from the podium maskless, only to turn up days later wearing a mask outside as he awaited to board Marine One with wife Jill Biden. Both Joe and Jill Biden have been vaccinated.
On Thursday, Biden took an interview with NBC's Today, according to The Hill; however, he was not seen dawning a mask indoors. The interview was socially distanced.
"So it's like, look, you and I took our masks off when I came in because look at the distance we are," Biden said. "But if we were in fact sitting there talking to one another close, I'd have my mask on and I'd make you to have a mask, even though we've both been vaccinated. And so it's a small precaution to take that has a profound impact. It's a patriotic responsibility for God's sake."
In contrast to former President Donald Trump, who rarely wore a mask and later contracted the virus, which put him in a hospital for days, Biden can be seen wearing masks frequently indoors and outdoors.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health at Georgetown University, alluded that members of the White House behavior may be due their duty to lead by example.
"I think that the CDC and the White House are under enormous political pressure to show the population that getting vaccinated does have its benefits, and being able to have a walk outside or visiting friends outside without wearing a mask is one of those key benefits," Gostin said.
Gostin went on to say wearing a mask outdoors is "too cautious."
Leanna Wen, an emergency physician and former health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, said, "I actually think it would do so much good for the president to be modeling at this point the really critical times when people should be wearing a mask, and letting people know here is the benefit of the vaccine: You don't need to be wearing a mask during these other times."
Wen then added, "There's also an element of American culture that I'm sure the politicization has not helped, which is that masks have become the symbol of the pandemic. And the American people are not defining normal as going back to school and church. When people ask 'when are we getting back to normal,' they mean when can we take off our masks."