Psaki Downplays Biden Violating D.C. Mask Mandate While Indoors

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OPINION:
This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is defending Joe And Jill Biden after they were seen over the weekend violating a mask mandate in Washington, D.C.

During the White House press briefing on Monday, Psaki was asked by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy about the viral video of the Biden’s briefly not wearing masks while at a swanky restaurant in D.C.

Psaki downplayed the incident, saying that everyone has “moments” when they don’t put their masks back on as quickly as they should.

Below is a transcript of the exchange:

PSAKI: “Go on.”

DOOCY: “Thank you, Jen. There is a mask requirement inside D.C. restaurants, yet President Biden and the First Lady were not wearing masks while walking around a D.C. restaurant on Saturday. Why?”

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PSAKI: “Well, I think what we’re referring to is a photo of them walking out of a restaurant after they had eaten, masks in hand, where they had not yet put them back on yet. So I would say, of course, there are moments when we all don’t put masks back on as quickly as we should, but I don’t think we should lose miss — lose the forest through the trees here and that our objective here is to get more people vaccinated, make sure that schools and companies around the country can put in place requirements to save more lives and keep people safer and, you know, not overly focus on moments in time that don’t reflect overarching policy.”

DOOCY: “It was not just exiting the restaurant, though. He was walking through the restaurant with no mask on. There is a carve-out for people under two or people who are actively eating or drinking, so I’m just curious why the President was doing this.”

PSAKI: “I think I just addressed it.”

WATCH:

Videos showed the Bidens walking maskless through Fiola Mare while Secret Service agents around them were wearing masks.

Washington D.C. has a district-wide mask mandate even for those who are fully vaccinated.

“Everyone (including fully vaccinated people) must wear masks: • UPDATE: in indoor public settings o This includes any business or establishment open to members of the public (including but not limited to: grocery stores, restaurants and bars (when not eating or drinking), places of worship, gyms, office buildings, libraries, indoor entertainment venues, and common areas of apartment or condominium complexes). In special settings such as: school, childcare, healthcare, correctional, and homeless shelter settings. When on public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States (on an airplane, train, bus, taxi, ride-share vehicle, or at a transportation hub such as an airport or train station). Note: It is not necessary for fully vaccinated people to wear masks in outdoor areas of a transportation conveyance (such as the open deck of a ferry, or the open-air upper deck of a double-decker bus.). When required to per workplace or establishment policies,” the rule reads.

There are some exceptions to the rule.

“A mask is not required during the following activities/situations when a person is: o indoor gatherings at private residences, actively eating or drinking, actively playing or training for indoor sports in a collegiate or professional sports setting, in the water at a swimming pool or aquatic facility, alone in an enclosed office that no one else is permitted to enter, giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker, speaking to or translating for a Deaf or hard of hearing person, required to use equipment for a job that precludes the wearing of a mask and the person is wearing or using that equipment, or when wearing a mask would endanger public safety, lawfully asked to remove their mask for facial recognition purposes,” the district said.

In the photos and videos the president and first lady did not appear to be eating or drinking.

“President Biden and the First Lady have arrived at Fiola Mare restaurant in Georgetown for dinner. The White House is calling it a ‘date night,’ Bloomberg News White House reporter Josh Wingrove said.

“President Biden leaving the restaurant after date night with the First Lady (who ducked out moments before as he looked to triage some selfie requests),” he said in a later tweet.

At the time of that video the president was outside and therefore did not require a mask, but other photos showed him inside the establishment with no mask.

“Every American deserves an answer from @JoeBiden directly explaining why he thinks is allowed to break rules that he demands others to follow,” reporter Benny Johnson said.

“Joe Biden walks through an expensive Washington, D.C. restaurant without a mask, violating D.C.’s mask mandate,” The Republican National Committee said.

“It’s almost as if he doesn’t believe in what he’s pushing and he’s pushing it for other than honorable reasons,” another Twitter user said.

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“Repeal the mask mandate @MayorBowser. It’s not doing anything except hurting businesses, and the wealthy politicians aren’t following it anyway,” Kevin Glass said.

“Imagine if this was President Trump. The media would be saying he was killing people,” another person said.

As Biden wants to institute mandates for everyone else he has no issue ignoring the ones he does not like or that inconvenience him.





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