Critics mocked President Joe Biden for keeping a face mask on during a virtual meeting with world leaders Friday — but screenshots of the meeting did not tell the whole story.
Most of those who were criticizing the president either shared or responded to the same screenshot, taken from the video call when Russian President Vladimir Putin was speaking. (RELATED: ‘Neanderthal Thinking’: Biden, White House Bash State Governors For Ending Mask Mandates)
Pres. Biden masks up for a video call to discuss climate change with world leaders
He appears to be the only one wearing a mask pic.twitter.com/TGGuM7BW0x
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 23, 2021
Joe Biden was masked up for a Zoom Call with 16 other World leaders…
He was the only idiot wearing a mask by himself… In a room for a Zoom Call…
This isn’t a leader, this is an embarrassment..
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) April 23, 2021
Biden is vaccinated and still wears a mask. It’s embarrassing.
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) April 23, 2021
Jenna Ellis, who served as senior legal counsel to former President Donald Trump, noted that even the Supreme Court Justices — who had all been vaccinated against coronavirus — posed for a recent photo without masks and asked why Biden continued to wear one.
So why is Biden still wearing a mask?? https://t.co/2CZ41WloME
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) April 23, 2021
But what wasn’t visible in most of the screenshots was the fact that while he may have been alone in the frame, President Biden was not alone in the room. He attended the virtual climate summit alongside U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry — all of whom appeared to be spaced out according to CDC guidelines on social distancing.
In addition, some photos of the group showed Tai, Buttigieg and Kerry also wearing masks, following the Biden administration’s directive requiring masks for everyone while indoors on federal property — regardless of whether the person had been vaccinated.
Biden also removed his mask when he was speaking to the group, keeping it on only when he was seated and listening to the others.