President Joe Biden is struggling to keep his promise to follow the science on the coronavirus pandemic response, wearing a mask outside in contradiction to his own government’s latest guidance.
A fully vaccinated Biden has continued in recent days to wear a mask indoors and outdoors. That is despite the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s premier public health agency, finding people inoculated against COVID-19 who leave their faces uncovered are at low risk unless they are in large groups.
The revised guidelines, unlike others from the Trump and Biden administrations, were clear. Yet, Biden’s decision to keep masking up and the range of explanations about why have gifted Republicans with more material to lambast him with claims he is doing little more than virtue-signaling as the politicization of mask-wearing heats up as the country inches toward normality.
Anita Dunn, a White House senior aide, this weekend suggested the president still dons his face covering outside due to “habit.” But just days before, her boss’s own explanation was he did so out of a “patriotic responsibility” to lead by example. The president also risks sending a signal that the coronavirus vaccines he almost daily urges people to take are subpar.