President Joe Biden on Sunday said it is “probably premature” to remove coronavirus mask mandates, despite originally pitching “just” 100 days of masking prior to taking office.
During his lengthy interview, part of which aired on Super Bowl Sunday, Biden remarked about blue state governors who recently decided to lift mask restrictions in their states, calling it “probably premature” and a “tough call” to make.
“Every day that goes by, children are more protected,” Biden said, referencing vaccine availability.
Markeata West, left, holds her daughter, Justice, 6, as she receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 from Dr. Eugenio Fernandez at Asthenis Pharmacy in Providence, R.I., Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
“The more protection they have, probably you’re going to see less and less requirement to have the masks,” he added.
Biden’s remarks come well over a year after he first pitched a plan for “just” 100 days of masking in the United States.
“Wear your mask for just 100 days. It’s the easiest thing you can do to reduce COVID cases, hospitalizations, and death,” he said in a December 2020 speech prior to taking office.
“Whatever your politics or point of view — mask up for 100 days. Once we take office…100 days to make a difference. It’s not a political statement; it’s a patriotic act,” he continued.
However, the U.S. went far beyond 100 days, as many states and localities began to reimplement mask requirements as Biden continued to extend the mask requirement for air travel and public transportation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even modified its masking guidance, urging fully vaccinated people to wear masks as well.
“As I’ve said in the last two years: Please wear a mask. If you’re in a — you know, I think it is part of your patriotic duty. It’s not that comfortable. It’s a pain in the neck,” Biden said during a speech this year, touting his actions to require individuals to wear face coverings in “federal buildings and on airplanes and trains because … they cross state lines.”
A family wearing masks waits to board a Southwest Airlines flight Sunday, May 24, 2020, at Kansas City International airport (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel).
During the past week, several blue states have announced intentions to remove mask requirements for both indoor businesses and schools. However, schoolchildren will still be required to wear masks on buses because of Biden’s federal regulations.