President Joe Biden, along with first lady Jill Biden, joined members of their family at the Lincoln Memorial on the night of Inauguration Day, where they took a photo as a group with masks, and one without.
While Biden’s official inauguration at the United States Capitol was scaled back due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of the Biden family were not swayed as they celebrated Biden’s first day in office.
The photos of President Biden and the first lady without face masks came just mere hours after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Those who posed for two separate versions of the photo include Ashley Biden, her husband Howard Krein, and Biden’s grandchildren Naomi, 27, Finnegan, 20, Maisy, 19, and Natalie, 16, and Robert ‘Hunter’ Biden II, 14.
I love how they took a picture with their masks on and off as if that would be any better pic.twitter.com/RfAak5wQRI
— Caleb Hull (I'm With the CCP Don't Ban Me) (@CalebJHull) January 22, 2021
The photos, which have been shared to social media countless times, show the Biden family donning masks for one photo and then removing them for another, just hours after Biden signed a mandate requiring masks on federal property to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives,” Biden wrote in a tweet on Inauguration Day. “That’s why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It’s time to mask up, America.”
Wearing masks isn't a partisan issue — it's a patriotic act that can save countless lives. That's why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It's time to mask up, America.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 21, 2021
Biden was met with quick backlash Wednesday night as he appeared at the Lincoln Memorial without a mask. Despite the mandate, President Biden also appeared on Thursday during his first full day in office at the White House without a mask.
Asked about breaking his own mask mandate by Fox News’s Peter Doocy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s time with his family during a “historic moment in our history” and said, “We have bigger issues to worry about.” Psaki was not, however, questioned about the rest of the Biden family violating the mask mandate.
“He was surrounded by his family, we take a number of precautions, but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time,” Psaki said.