Why Didn't Biden Wear a Mask During His Address to Congress?

Caroline Brehman/Pool via AP

Did you notice something about Joe Biden during Wednesday night’s address before a joint session of Congress?

He wasn’t wearing a mask.

Now, don’t get me wrong. He’s vaccinated, and I suspect most of those in Congress are vaccinated as well. There was no need for anyone there to be wearing a mask as far as I’m concerned, but Joe Biden appeared before Congress maskless literally days after he wore a mask during a virtual climate summit with world leaders.

Biden was mocked for this, and on Monday, Jen Psaki claimed that the reason Biden wore a mask during a virtual climate summit was to “send a message.”

“He is sending a message to the world that he is putting in place precautions and continuing to do that as leader of the United States,” Psaki told Fox News’ Peter Doocy. “He had a pool there for portions. There were additional staff there, additional personnel. And that’s the sort of model that we try to keep ourselves to here.”

That’s funny… apparently, Joe Biden didn’t want to send a message to Americans tuning in to his speech? Is that what we can gather from his not wearing a mask? Biden was arguably socially distant from others in the room, but members of Congress were wearing masks despite being socially distant.

In fact, this is a point Peter Doocy brought up to Jen Psaki on Monday, when he pointed out, “the CDC’s website and their guidance is that you can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart.”

“That’s actually for — in your private home,” Psaki claimed. “So it’s not workplace guidance.”

The CDC doesn’t actually make this distinction. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can “Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing” and “Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.”

Still, that was the justification Psaki gave on Monday, but suddenly… poof! That explanation became irrelevant.

Again, I don’t think Joe Biden needed to wear a mask, and assuming all or most members of Congress have been vaccinated, the masks and the social distancing were completely unnecessary.

But how does the White House justify Biden wearing a mask for a virtual climate summit to “send a message” but then not wearing a mask during his address to Congress? Shouldn’t Biden want to send a message to Americans to “wear your masks” and all that—especially after all the times that President Trump was accused of being reckless for not wearing a mask?



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