Biden: ‘Hard to Say’ if Lifting Mask Mandates Is Wrong, But ‘It’s Probably Premature’


During a portion of an interview with NBC aired on Thursday’s edition of “NBC Nightly News,” President Joe Biden said that it’s “hard to say” if blue state governors rolling back mask requirements are wrong and that while doing so is “probably premature, but it’s a tough call.” And that he believes we will likely see fewer mask requirements as kids are better protected.

Host Lester Holt asked, “Mr. President, in recent days, we’ve seen numerous governors from blue states roll back indoor mask requirements, essentially getting ahead of the federal government, the CDC. Are those governors wrong?”

Biden responded, “Well, it’s hard to say whether they’re wrong. Here is — the science is saying now that masks work, masks make a difference, and there’s a relationship. I think there’s only one governor drawing back immediately. I think most of them are somewhere in February — I mean, the end of February, March, April…set a time limit. And I assume it has something to do with whether the Omicron variant continues to dive, fewer and fewer cases. And because there is a relationship between the number of cases you have in your community and the need for wearing masks.”

Biden added that as children get increased protection, “probably, you’re going to see less and less requirement to have the masks.”

Holt later asked, “Are you afraid, though, that some states and cities are moving too quickly to loosen indoor mask mandates?”

Biden answered, “I’ve committed that I would follow the science, 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.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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