President BidenJoe Biden Will Seattle officials use the same litigation they want to take away from the police? Taliban warns of attacks on US troops after withdrawal period under Trump deal passes Pandemic inspector general blows DOJ note, urges Congress to clarify mandate MORE sought to send the message this week that the nation is in a new phase of the pandemic as it walked away from a podium outside the White House without a mask after announcing guidance that the vaccinated no longer need facial coatings , when outdoors.
But days later, Biden was spotted wearing a mask while walking outside to Marine One with the first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden keeps masking despite updated instructions The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden’s far-reaching NBC interview Bidens gets a cat in the White House MORE, even though both have been vaccinated and no one else was there.
The president again wore a mask at a Georgia run-in meeting while his wife spoke a few feet away, despite no one else being on stage.
Biden has strived to be an example to Americans by often wearing a mask in public during his first months in office and begging the public that it was a key tool to end the pandemic. But health experts say the country is reaching a turning point where Biden must now change his behavior to reflect how vaccines can lead to a return to normal.
“I actually think it would do so much good for the president to model 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 do not have to wear a mask in these other times, ”said Leana Wen, an emergency physician and former health commissioner for the city of Baltimore.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday published updated guidance for individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The agency advised that those who have been vaccinated can safely be outside a mask unless they are in a large gathering, and that it is safe to be maskless indoors with others who have been vaccinated.
Health experts and government and federal officials saw the new guide as an important step in showing the public that there are benefits to being vaccinated, as some Americans weigh whether it’s worth the shot.
Biden made a point of walking away from the podium without a mask after outlining the new guidance and press secretary of the White House Jen PsakiJen Psaki North Korean official says Biden’s comments on the country are ‘hostile policy’, Biden continues to disguise despite updated guidance Court observers grumble about Breyer’s possible pension MORE said the president and senior staff would abide by the CDC’s recommendations, which no longer required masks outdoors for vaccinated individuals.
But the president has been slow to put the updated recommendations into practice, as reflected in his trip to Georgia.
Biden also wore a mask in and out of the House of Representatives for his speech at a joint congressional session, despite the fact that most of those present were distanced and vaccinated.
Psaki alluded to the idea that the whole nation is adapting to the new rules this week.
“It will take some time to adapt and adapt to all of us,” she said this week. “And I know that when I take my kids to the playground on the weekends, I’ll be happy not to wear a mask.”
The White House also pointed to Biden’s interview this week with NBC’s Craig Melvin. The president stated that he would not change his behavior in that interview significantly despite the new guidance.
“So it’s, look, you and I took off our masks when I came in because look at the distance we are,” Biden told Melvin Thursday. “But if we actually sat there and talked close to each other, I would wear my mask and I would make you get a mask, even though we have both been vaccinated. And then there is a little caution to take that has a profound impact. It is a patriotic responsibility for God’s sake. ”
The bite’s comments reflect the cautious approach he and his helpers have taken to the virus.
This is in stark contrast to the past President TrumpDonald Trump pandemic inspector general blows DOJ note, urges Congress to clarify mandate Court monitors buzz over Breyer’s possible retirement Venezuela provides house arrest for six jailed U.S. oil drills MORE, who rarely wore a mask and eventually got COVID-19 and spent days in the hospital.
A number of other cases of COVID-19 were also committed by people who worked at or visited Trump’s White House.
Unlike Trump, Biden has regularly appeared on television wearing a mask and has repeatedly urged states to use mask mandates while urging Americans to wear masks for the better.
As more and more people are being vaccinated, the fight against the pandemic is entering a new phase, with public health experts saying it will be critical to convince skeptical Americans to be vaccinated.
The rate at which people have been vaccinated since they have already dropped off.
“I think the CDC and the White House are under enormous political pressure to show the public that getting vaccinated has its benefits, and being able to go for a walk outside or visit friends outside without wearing one. Mask is one of the most important benefits, ”said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health at Georgetown University.
Gostin said requiring masks outdoors if you are fully vaccinated is “too careful” given the small risk of getting the virus. But he recognized that the CDC needs to moderate its guidance to consider the entire population, not just certain individuals.
A former Trump administration official working on the pandemic response said Biden risked further politicization of mask use by wearing one, even when the CDC said it was unnecessary.
Wen suggested that Biden could hold smaller staff meetings on camera with other vaccinated individuals, where they do not wear masks to show that it is safe. The public must have hope and a reason to believe that life will change once a person is vaccinated, she said, and loosening up using a mask is one way to do that.
“There’s also an element of American culture that I’m sure politicization has not helped, which is that masks have become the symbol of the pandemic,” Wen said. “And the American people do not define the normal as going back to school and church. When people ask ‘when do we get back to normal’, they mean when can we take off our masks. “