President Joe Biden voiced disagreement with blue states recently loosening mask requirements, saying that he is committed to following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance Thursday.
Blue states including New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Nevada either dropped or loosened their mask guidelines citing the changing science and improving COVID-19 conditions. During an exclusive interview, NBC’s Lester Holt asked Biden whether he believes the governors are wrong to move ahead of the CDC.
“It’s hard to say whether they’re wrong, here’s the science saying now that masks work, masks make a difference,” Biden said. “And there’s a relationship, I think there’s only one governor drawing back immediately and most of them are somewhere in the end of February, March, April. They’re set[ting] a time limit and I assume it has something to do with whether the Omicron variant continues to dive in fewer and fewer cases.”
“I committed that I would follow the science,” Biden said. “And the science as put forward by the CDC and the federal people and I think it’s probably premature but it’s a tough call.” (RELATED: ‘Let Me Finish’: Psaki Snaps At Fox News Reporter When Pressed On CDC Guidance)
The CDC still recommends that all Americans wear a mask in indoor settings regardless of their vaccination status.
Holt also asked if he acknowledges that political leaders are “bowing to the political whims” in making these policy decisions. Biden responded that Omicron has had “a profound impact on the psyche of the American people.”
Holt moved on to the issue of masking in schools, asking the president if children should be required to wear a face covering in the classroom. The president suggested that the more protection a child has against the virus, particularly vaccines, there will be less of a need for school mask mandates.
“When I got in office only 46% of the schools were open, now 98% of them are open and they’re wearing masks,” the president responded. “What’s happing is everyday that goes by, children are more protected. We’re now on the verge of being able to have shots for children under the age of seven. Young children. The more protection they have, probably you’re gonna see less and less requirement to have the masks.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Americans should continue to follow CDC guidance on masking regardless of changing policies.