Biden Can’t Explain Why He Still Wears a Mask

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The administration is modeling behavior that is even more risk-averse than what the CDC recommends.

On Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper quizzed White House adviser Jeffrey Zients about President Joe Biden’s continued insistence on wearing a mask—even when entering a room where everyone is fully vaccinated.

“The president is going to continue to follow the CDC guidance,” said Zients. “We’re going to look to the CDC. The president from day one has said we’re going to rely on science and facts and that’s what we’ll do.”

This was only slightly more coherent than the answer given by Biden himself, who told a reporter on Friday that he was continuing to mask up “because when we’re inside it’s still good policy to wear the mask.”

It is in fact not necessary for the fully vaccinated to wear masks around other fully vaccinated people. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged that there are “many situations” where the fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks: outdoors, and even inside when everyone is vaccinated, for instance. This is important, since the CDC has generally taken a wildly cautious approach with its recommendations (see: summer camp guidance). But in many ways, Biden and Zients are sticking to an approach that is even more risk-averse than what the CDC has said.

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