Home » Joe Biden Jokes About Not Wearing A Mask After COVID Exposure

Joe Biden Jokes About Not Wearing A Mask After COVID Exposure

President Joe Biden joked about not wearing a mask while he delivered remarks at the White House on Wednesday, just a day after testing negative for COVID-19 following his wife’s confirmed infection.

The president carried a black mask as he approached the lectern in the State Dining Room to talk about a new contract between unions and shipping companies at West Coast ports. But he didn’t put on the mask, which he acknowledged during his remarks after reiterating that he had tested negative for COVID-19.

“Let me explain to the press: I’ve been tested again today. I’m clear across the board,” Biden said at the press conference while holding up the mask. “But they keep telling me, because this has to be 10 days or something, I’ve got to keep wearing it. But don’t tell them I didn’t have it on when I walked in.”

According to USA Today, Biden carried the mask in his hand again as he left the room rather than putting it on his face. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 wear a high-quality mask indoors and when around other people for 10 days to avoid spreading the virus.

The president was exposed to COVID-19 by first lady Jill Biden, who tested positive on Monday. Biden tested negative Monday night and Tuesday, with no COVID-19 symptoms present, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, who noted he would be taking several precautions per his physician’s advice and the CDC guidelines.

“Since the president was with the first lady yesterday, he will be masking while indoors and around people in alignment with CDC guidance,” Jean-Pierre said. “And as has been the practice in the past, the president will remove his mask when sufficiently distanced from others indoors and while outside as well.”

Biden followed the guidance on Tuesday when he met with Army Capt. Larry L. Taylor, who also wore a mask at the White House for a Medal of Honor ceremony. But the president seemed to shift gears on Wednesday, prompting several users on Twitter (now branded as X) to call him out for the joke he made about not masking.

“A key part of the President’s job — especially during a pandemic — is to set a good example by following official public health guidance, & speaking clearly about its importance to the people. Joking about a critical tool like masks leads to lack of trust, potentially costing lives,” public health expert Lucky Tran wrote in a tweet.

In April, Biden declared an end to the COVID-19 national emergency, and a month later the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was no longer a global emergency. But the virus didn’t disappear, as COVID cases, deaths and hospitalizations have recently been on the rise.

According to NBC News, the average daily COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 23.6% in the past two weeks. In the week ending Aug. 26, the CDC reported that more than 17,400 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a 16% increase from the week before.


September 2023