Thursday marks one year of Joe Biden’s presidency, and despite originally pitching “just” 100 days of masking on the American people, President Biden continues to urge Americans to mask up, deeming it a “patriotic” act.
In December 2020, prior to taking office, Biden unveiled a masking plan for his first 100 days in office, urging Americans to wear one “wherever possible” for “just” 100 days.
“Wear your mask for just 100 days. It’s the easiest thing you can do to reduce COVID cases, hospitalizations, and death,” he said in the December speech, deeming it a “patriotic” act.
“Whatever your politics or point of view — mask up for 100 days. Once we take office. 100 days to make a difference. It’s not a political statement, it’s a patriotic act,” he said. Notably, 100 days of masking did not make a demonstrative difference, as blue, restriction-heavy areas with stringent masking policies experienced spikes of the virus alongside the rest of the nation.
Biden’s first 100 days, however, went by with no end to masking in sight. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to advocate masking, even for fully vaccinated individuals, despite the fact that public health officials pitched vaccines as the key to returning to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy — a time when masks were not the “norm.” Additionally, the Biden administration has continued to extend the universal mask mandate for air travel, extending the deadline each time it has approached. It is now slated to last until March, at least.
Now, the U.S. is far beyond Biden’s initial 100 days in office, yet he is continuing to push masks on the American people.
“As I’ve said in the last two years: Please wear a mask. If you’re in a — you know, I think it is part of your patriotic duty. It’s not that comfortable. It’s a pain in the neck,” Biden said during a speech last week.
“But I’ve taken every action I can as President to require people to wear masks in federal buildings and on airplanes and trains, because they’re inter- — they cross state lines,” he said, touting his plan to “make sure that high-quality masks are widely available, in ample supply, at affordable prices, sold online and in stores.”
According to reports, the Biden administration is expected to make 400 million N95 masks available to the American public for free, rolling out the program by February. That decision follows the CDC changing its guidance, recommending N95 masks. That comes nearly two years after critics pointed out that cloth and surgical masks are not effective at in filtering aerosols — something Dr. Anthony Fauci famously admitted in an email in February.
“I — you know, I know we all wish that we could finally be done with wearing masks. I get it. But there is — they’re a really important tool to stop the spread, especially of a highly transmittable omicron variant,” Biden continued. “So, please, please wear the mask.”
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