President Joe Biden will not have to wear a mask during his address to Congress Wednesday, despite strict coronavirus masking rules for lawmakers speaking in the chamber.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has strengthened mask mandates on the House floor. In December, Pelosi required members addressing the chamber to wear masks while speaking on the House floor. In January, Pelosi implemented a $500 fine for house members caught on the House floor without a mask and a $2,500 fine for their second offense.
But Pelosi’s strict masking rules will not apply to President Biden, according to a senior Democrat official.
“The mask rule applies to Members of Congress only,” the official said in response to a request from Breitbart News.
The official noted former Vice President Mike Pence did not wear a mask when he was on the floor for House proceedings in January.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday she was not sure whether Biden would wear a mask during his speech and would confer with the president’s doctors.
“It’s a great question, and let me get back to you so people can know what to expect,” she said during the daily press briefing.
Biden typically wears a mask as he arrives at events at the White House, but removes it as he speaks publicly in front of cameras, despite his own mask mandate on federal property. He frequently forgets to put his mask back on after speaking and exits the room without wearing a mask.