Psaki claims Biden follows CDC mask advice after he ignores store rule


White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted Monday that President Biden follows all COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — two days after he was spotted ignoring local mask requirements while shopping in Nantucket.

Biden was pictured Saturday wearing a black mask around his neck, leaving his mouth and nose exposed, while inside Murray’s Toggery Shop. In the images, a large sign posted on the door and reading “FACE COVERING REQUIRED” could be seen, in line with Nantucket’s recently reimposed indoor mask mandate.

During Monday’s White House press briefing, Psaki was asked by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy why Biden’s face was uncovered despite the sign.

“The president is somebody who follows the recommendations and the advice of the CDC,” she said. “I don’t know what the circumstances were of that particular moment.”

cdc, Coronavirus, jen psaki, joe biden, mask mandates, nantucket, white house

White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that President Biden follows CDC COVID-19 safety rules — despite being photographed without a mask inside a store last week.

Rod Lamkey – CNP / MEGA

“He was shopping in a store and on the glass outside it said ‘face covering required,’ and we could see him inside and his face was uncovered,” Doocy explained.

“Well again, Peter, our recommendation and advice continues to be for people to wear masks when they are required in establishments,” Psaki dug in without explaining why Biden ignored the store’s requirement. “I don’t know what this establishment was. The president obviously follows the health — the advice of his health and medical team.”

“Is there concern that when the president says today, ‘Please wear your mask indoors, in public settings, around other people’ and he doesn’t do that, that it’s gonna make it harder for people to follow him?” Doocy followed up.

cdc, Coronavirus, jen psaki, joe biden, mask mandates, nantucket, white house

Biden without a mask inside Murray’s Toggery Shop in Nantucket.

Fox News

“I think you see the American people — and all of you — see the president wearing a mask every time he comes out to an event, when he’s sitting in meetings, and certainly he will continue to model behavior he hopes the American people will follow,” Psaki said. “Not for his benefit but to save their own lives and the lives of their friends and neighbors.”

Moments before the briefing, Biden spoke on actions the administration was taking to counter the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which he described as a “cause for concern,” but “not a cause for panic.”

During his remarks, the president urged Americans to “please wear your masks when you’re indoors, in public settings, around other people.”

Current CDC guidance states that people age 2 and up who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places. The agency adds that masks are not needed in outdoor settings “in general.”

Biden has been caught violating mask requirements before. Last month, he was spotted violating Washington, DC’s indoor mask mandate by carrying his mask instead of wearing it when not eating at a Georgetown restaurant. 

During most press conferences and bill signings, the president does enter and exit the room while wearing a face covering. While taking questions from the media earlier Monday, Biden said he did not need to wear a mask while “speaking in the microphone.”

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