President Joe Biden struggled to explain Thursday why vaccinated Americans in some areas would have to wear masks again, as it contradicted his previous guidance.
Biden began his speech at the White House by walking into the room wearing a mask, then taking it off to speak.
“In a significant part of the country, you wouldn’t have to take one of these off, if you don’t have to put one on,” he said.
But by taking off his mask, Biden technically broke the newly released guidance for Washington, DC, requiring everyone to wear masks indoors.
Biden noted that he did not have to wear a mask during a trip to Newcastle County in Pennsylvania and at his home in Delaware because more people were vaccinated in those areas.
The president failed to mention that the areas highlighted by the CDC for mask mandates were based on “substantial” or “high” levels of the spread of the virus, not the number of vaccinated Americans.
“Well, if you notice a lot of places people don’t have to wear masks,” Biden added. “Let’s get that straight. The places where people have gotten vaccinated, where we have a high vaccination rate, people do not have to wear masks at all.”
Washington, DC, has reinstated mask mandates, even though 69 percent of D.C. residents have been fully vaccinated – a higher percentage than any state in the country.
Biden also struggled to explain why he previously said repeatedly that if Americans were vaccinated, they would not be required to wear masks.
“That is true at the time!” he recalled when asked about the change of position. “Because I thought there were people that were going to understand that getting vaccinated made a gigantic difference.”
Biden continued, “What happened was, a new variant came along, they didn’t get vaccinated, it was spread more rapidly, and people were getting sick. That’s the difference.”