President Joe Biden keeps wearing masks outside, in some cases against new federal health guidance, as a precaution, a White House official said on Sunday.
“We do take some extra precautions for him because he is the president of the United States,” Anita Dunn, an adviser to Biden, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened its masking guidance last week, advising people that they can forgo wearing masks in small groups outside even if they have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.
But Biden has continued wearing a face covering outdoors even with no one or just his wife near him.
Asked recently on NBC’s “Today” show whether Americans would see the president outside without a mask on, Biden said “sure.”
“But what I’m going to do, though, is because the likelihood of my being able to be outside and people not come up to me is not very high,” he added, saying that he was not wearing a mask during the interview because he and the interviewer were spaced some six feet apart.
“It’s a small precaution to take that has a profound impact. It’s a patriotic responsibility for God’s sake,” Biden also said.
After the CDC issued its updated guidance, Biden spoke outdoors at the White House about it. Even while walking outside alone he donned a mask, prompting a reporter to question him. “What message were you sending by wearing a mask outside alone?” Biden was asked.
“By watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get inside,” Biden responded.
Critics say Biden’s comments and actions don’t reflect the research on mask effectiveness. Some argue anyone who has been fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, should not need to wear a mask. Biden has been fully vaccinated.