Former President Barack Obama lauded the American people after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, telling the nation that Biden’s presidency was only made possible because people wore masks and “voted like never before.”
“Today was a good day. And it was only possible because of you. Because you made calls. Because you marched,” Obama said Wednesday evening. “Because you wore your masks and voted like never before.”
“For four years, you defended our democracy with everything you had—and now, our country can enter a new day,” he added:
Today was a good day.
And it was only possible because of you. Because you made calls. Because you marched. Because you wore your masks and voted like never before.
For four years, you defended our democracy with everything you had—and now, our country can enter a new day. https://t.co/JicHOQCIxt
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 21, 2021
It remains unclear how mask-wearing, specifically, contributed to Biden’s ultimate rise to the Oval Office.
Obama’s nod to universal mask-wearing follows Biden signing an executive order requiring people to wear masks inside all federal buildings — a fulfillment of his vow to push 100 days of masking on the first day of his presidency. The order also encourages federal government officials to work with state and local leaders and governments to encourage universal mask-wearing.
The order states in part:
The COVID-19 Response Coordinator, in coordination with the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall promptly identify and inform agencies of options to incentivize, support, and encourage widespread mask-wearing consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law.
Biden, however, appeared to quickly violate his own executive order, speaking from the Lincoln Memorial without a mask covering his face:C-SPAN, White House
“Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue – it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives,” Biden said on Twitter Wednesday night.
“That’s why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property,” he added. “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