“The View” lifted its COVID-19 mask mandate for its audience for the first time Monday since the pandemic started in 2020.
The audience was first seen without masks at the beginning of the episode, after consistently being seen wearing them. The mandate only applied to the audience, as the co-hosts never wore masks out on the stage.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg celebrated the mandate’s end towards the end of the first segment.
“Look at all of you sitting here with no masks on!” Goldberg said, followed by a round of applause. “Wait a minute now. So, I’m talking and in my mind I’m going, ‘what is different about this audience? Something’s happening.’ And then it hits me, no masks because I saw your smile and I saw your teeth! It was like great, well yeah, we’re getting back to where we were.”
The panel has been vocally supportive of masks even after the height of the pandemic passed. In Jan. 2022, the panel raged against HBO host and comedian Bill Maher for criticizing mask mandates. (RELATED: Joy Behar Says She ‘Might’ Wear Masks ‘Indefinitely’ In Public Spaces, Listening To Her Own Voice Not CDC)
“That’s not really funny to people who’ve lost their kids to this vaccine or people who have lost family members or dear friends to this,” Goldberg previously said in reference to Maher. “It’s just, listen, nobody on the planet really wants to go through this. This is not something we’re doing because it’s sexually gratifying. This is what we’re doing to protect our families and you don’t have to do it, but stay away from everybody.”
The panelists also repeatedly criticized Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for lifting the mask mandate on children in schools in 2021. During that segment, co-host Joy Behar called DeSantis a “negligent homicidal sociopath.”
White House senior medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, a proponent of masks, wrote in a leaked email in 2021 that masks were “not really effective in keeping out the virus.”