Maskless Joe Biden Greets Firefighters After Touting Mask Mandates

MOOSIC, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden talks with local firefighters as he leaves a CNN town hall event on September 17, 2020 in Moosic, Pennsylvania. Due to the coronavirus, the event is being held outside with audience members in their cars. Biden …
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A maskless Joe Biden (D) spoke to firefighters following CNN’s town hall in Pennsylvania on Thursday evening after touting mask mandates and criticizing the president for supposedly thinking that masks “don’t matter very much.”

According to a pool report, Biden stopped to speak to firefighters after Thursday evening’s town hall and thanked them for their service. However, a photo from the brief conversation shows the former vice president greeting them without a mask, despite repeatedly criticizing President Trump over the issue:

Prior to speaking with the first responders, Biden participated in CNN’s town hall and blasted the president over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of universal masking, specifically.

“There’s a whole range of things we should have done. I laid it out all the way back in March how we should do that. The President is totally disregarded it,” Biden said. “He continues to think that masks don’t matter very much.”

“He always says it, and then he has these large gatherings with everybody around with no masks on, and it’s extremely dangerous,” he continued.

Last month, Biden proposed a three-month mask mandate, covering anyone in any location, even outdoors, but he admitted on Thursday that he would not be able to force Americans to comply. However, he suggested he would be able to enforce it on Federal property.

“What Presidents say matter, people listen. I will make it clear what is needed to be done. I cannot mandate people wearing masks, but we just been told if we should expect another 215,000 dead by January. But if we wore a mask, we’d save 100,000 of those lives,” Biden said. “Doing nothing but that.”

Biden added that he would call “every governor in the country into the White House” and instruct them to issue mask mandates.

“And if they don’t, I’d call the mayors in their towns and their cities and say put out mandates. You can save lives,” he continued.

Notably, Biden acknowledged his lack of a mask during CNN’s town hall, telling viewers that he tested negative for the virus that morning.

“Still, I’ll be keeping my distance as well, all of the participants in tonight’s Town Hall who are here,” he added.

Biden is hardly the only high profile figure to contradict his or her own position on wearing masks. Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire in July after photos emerged, showing the White House Coronavirus Task Force member enjoying the view at the Washington Nationals’ season opener with a mask hanging around his chin:

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