President Joe Biden urged Americans Monday to keep wearing their masks after Texas and Mississippi lifted their mask mandates.
“Wear masks. Keep wearing them,” Biden said, adding, “Now is not the time to let our guard down.”
Biden commented on masks just hours after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his decision to lift that state’s mask mandate.
During his speech at the White House, the president did not single out or criticize Texas for lifting its mandate, but he reminded Americans that he had asked everyone to wear a mask for his first 100 days in office.
“I have to be honest with you. This fight is far from over,” he said. “I told you I’d be straight up with you from the beginning.”
Biden reminded Americans that 511,839 had died from the virus, even as the vaccines for the virus were spreading across the country.
“Now is not the time to let our guard down,” Biden said, waving his mask in front of the cameras.
Federal health officials warned Monday that it was too early to lift mask mandates.
“I remain deeply concerned about a potential shift in the trajectory of the pandemic,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House coronavirus response briefing, adding that she was “really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19.”
Biden urged Americans to continue following the restrictions announced by federal health officials.
“Please it’s not over yet. Great news, but stay vigilant,” Biden said.
He predicted that life would go “back to normal” by March of 2022.
“I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure,” he said to a reporter who asked him when life would go back to normal. “But my hope is by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal and before that. I hope.”