Biden caught maskless just hours after issuing new federal mask mandate

by Peter Heck · Jan 21st, 2021 5:39 pm

Last Updated Jan 22nd, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Just hours after being officially sworn in as president, Joe Biden issued his "100 days mask challenge," an executive order that, among other things, forces Americans to wear face masks anytime they step on federal property. The president was caught later that same evening violating his own order.

"The heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall immediately take action," the executive order reads, "as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by: on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal buildings or on Federal lands."

The president's COVID-19 czar Jeff Zients affirmed that agencies across the federal government would be enforcing the policy, and Biden himself announced the order on Twitter.

Just hours after issuing the order, however, Biden was seen without a face mask on federal property. While visiting the Lincoln Memorial the evening after his inauguration, the president and his family were captured on camera violating his first executive order.

Biden's defenders pointed to a statement in the order that advised officials could make exceptions to the mask mandate, provided they allow for "appropriate" precautions. It wasn't immediately clear what is considered "appropriate."


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