On a sunny Friday afternoon at Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, President Joe Biden delivered remarks outside without a mask while wearing a blue ball cap.
When he finished his speech, the president stepped away from the podium without his mask, approaching a fellow official, and spoke to him briefly before fist-bumping him in the chest.
“You ready?” he asked two of his granddaughters before walking slowly down the station platform without his face covering, arm-in-arm with one of them.
Yesterday, Biden wouldn’t even leave the podium without finding his mask, today he’s mask-less and fist bumping Amtrak officials pic.twitter.com/KUQ54aDR6f
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) April 30, 2021
Biden’s behavior at the Amtrak event appeared completely defendable under the new CDC guidelines for vaccinated Americans.
He shed his mask at a small crowd of presumably vaccinated local government and Amtrak officials gathered outside on the platform and walked outside with his granddaughters Maisy and Finnegan.
But a day earlier, the president awkwardly fumbled for his mask after speaking at an outdoor drive-in car rally speech in Georgia.
After calling up Sen. Raphael Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff to the stage, First Lady Jill Biden approached and pointed at her own mask to remind her husband to put his mask back on.
As Jackie Wilson’s “High and Higher” blared through the outdoor speakers Biden repeatedly flipped through his binder of papers looking for his lost mask.Joe Biden / YouTube
He continued looking around the podium for his mask, apologizing to two approaching senators for losing his mask.
Leaning into the microphone, Biden apologized to the crowd, “I’m looking for my mask. I’m in trouble.”
Jill Biden took her husband’s binder and began flipping through it herself, before giving up.
As Wilson crooned, “I’m so glad, I finally found you,” Biden discovered his mask in his pocket and held it up triumphantly — a split second before an aide ran on stage to offer him a replacement.
The president put on his mask and greeted the newly minted Georgia Democrats as Jill Biden gathered them all together to hold hands and raise their arms in celebration.
Turning back to the podium, Biden pulled down his mask and leaned into the microphone.
“Go Georgia! We need you!”
Putting his mask back on, Biden double-pointed out at the crowd before taking the first lady’s hand and leaving the stage.
But three days earlier, Biden explained to reporters at an outdoor event at the White House he would walk away from the podium without his mask to model the CDC’s new outdoor mask guidance “by watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get inside.”C-SPAN, The White House
But in a TODAY interview aired Friday, Biden said would continue to wear his mask outdoors just to be safe, despite the updated guidance from federal health officials.
“It’s a small precaution to take that has a profound impact,” Biden explained to the socially distanced Craig Melvin in the interview. “It’s a patriotic responsibility for God’s sake.”
Since he first took office in January, Biden made “mask-signaling” a priority — but it was immediately clear there was no consistent message from the White House.
The president stood on Inauguration Day with his extended family for a photo at the Lincoln Monument, hours after signing an executive order ordering all Americans to wear masks on federal property.
It was the first executive order of his presidency, Biden explained, speaking through his mask while seated at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
But after signing the order, Biden abandoned the concept of keeping his mask on while speaking on federal property in the White House.
The president makes a point of showing up at every event wearing his mask and removing it at the podium, before speaking. But he frequently forgets to put his mask back on after speaking, at times apologetically returning to the podium to retrieve the covering.
First Lady Kamala Harris, at one point, had to remind the president to put his mask back on at a coronavirus event with health officials.
Even the Easter Bunny costume was fitted with a gigantic red mask as President Joe Biden and Jill Biden stood on the South Portico to celebrate Easter, hundreds of feet away from any other individual.
Joe Biden mandated masks on federal property and was busted not wearing a mask himself. pic.twitter.com/GzVRDUaOpj
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 21, 2021
As Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at Biden’s virtual climate summit, Biden was the only world leader onscreen wearing a mask.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained Biden was “sending a message to the world” about the importance of masking.
But by day two of the summit, Biden was spotted at times without his mask as he sat at the table with administration officials to talk about the threat that climate change posed to the world.
The president continues insisting wearing a mask is a “patriotic duty” to fellow Americans, sternly lecturing Republican officials for “Neanderthal thinking” by lifting mask mandates in their states.
But as Americans are growing tired of wearing their masks, Republicans are starting to point out the president’s own thinking on masking.
“Joe and Jill Biden are FULLY vaccinated,” the Republican National Committee wrote on Twitter Friday. “Why are they ignoring CDC guidance on wearing masks outside?”