The White House has lifted its mask mandate for all staff, media, and guests who are fully vaccinated, President Joe Biden’s administration announced Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance Thursday to allow fully vaccinated people to forgo masks indoors in most situations. The White House Correspondent’s Association (WHCA) soon followed with its own announcement that those who are at least two weeks past their final coronavirus vaccine dose no longer need to wear masks on White House grounds.
“Effective immediately, pursuant to the new CDC guidance, mask-wearing requirements are lifted at the White House complex for those who are 14 days after their last required dose of one of the COVID-19 shots,” announces @whca in notice to its journalist members.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 13, 2021
Confirmed: CDC is issuing new guidance today that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors in most situations.
Pressed by governors on the subject earlier this wk, Biden said he expected an update soon. White House just added 3:45pm covid remarks to his schedule
— Meredith Lee (@meredithllee) May 13, 2021
The White House and WHCA have required masking on the campus since almost exactly one year ago in May 2020, a decision that came after then-Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for coronavirus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that ending indoor mask mandates wholesale is “on the horizon.” The CDC first updated its mask guidance in April to allow vaccinated people to forgo masks outdoors in non-crowded areas. (RELATED: Fauci Says We’re In The Bottom Of The 6th Inning In The Fight Against Coronavirus)
“I think you’re going to probably be seeing that as we go along, and as more people get vaccinated,” Fauci said to ABC.
Fauci, however, has also predicted that mask-wearing may become a seasonal practice even long after the coronavirus pandemic has ended, pointing to the lower-than-usual
“We’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against COVID-19,” Fauci told NBC News Sunday.
“So it is conceivable that as we go on, a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory-borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory-borne diseases,” he added.