Addressing the public Monday, President Biden reiterated the importance of adhering to mask guidance in indoor settings, despite the fact that he was photographed over the weekend flouting such requirements at a local store. During a subsequent press briefing Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged when asked why Biden wasn’t following the recommendations of his public health officials.
On Saturday, a photo was snapped of Biden wearing a mask around his neck inside Murray’s Toggery Shop in Nantucket, where he was visiting for holiday festivities at billionaire friend David Rubinstein’s residence. The storefront posted a large sign with a figurine wearing a mask that read “REQUIRED FACE COVERING.” The island has had a mask mandate since early November applying to businesses and other public venues.
“We saw the president shopping indoors on Saturday behind glass that says ‘face covering required’ but his face was uncovered. Why?,” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Psaki.
“The president is somebody who follows the recommendation and the advice of the CDC. I don’t know what the circumstances were of that particular moment,” she replied.
“He was shopping at a store and on the glass outside it said ‘face covering required’ and we could see him inside and his face was uncovered,” Doocy responded.
Psaki then restorted to repeating the White House’s official position on masking: “Well again Peter, our recommendation and advice continues to be for people to wear masks when they are required in establishments. I don’t know what this establishment was. The president obviously follows the advice of his health and medical team.”
Doocy pointed out that Biden’s hypocritical behavior might discourage Americans from abiding by public health recommendations, given the many episodes of political leaders at the federal and state level breaking the restrictions they themselves either issue or endorse.
Psaki defended Biden, insisting that he typically abides by CDC guidance.
“I think the American people and I think all of you see the president wearing a mask every time he comes out to an event, when he’s sitting in meetings, and certainly he will continue to model behavior he hopes the American people will follow, not for his benefit but to save their own lives and the lives of their friends and neighbors,” she added.