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President IGNORES new CDC mask guidelines and keeps his mask ON until he gets to the podium after new guidelines said fully-vaccinated Americans can go maskless outside

 President Joe Biden kept his face mask on Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated Americans can now safely go without masks outside, saying he was doing so to make a point.

Biden wore his face mask as he came out onto the North Lawn of the White House to deliver remarks on the coronavirus pandemic. He paired the dark mask with his signature aviator sunglasses against the bright, sunny day. 

He took the mask off to speak - waiting until he reached the podium to do so - and said he walked out of the White House wearing one so people could watch him remove it and not put it back on until he was back inside the building.

'Watching me take if off and not put it back on until I'm inside,' he said when asked what message he was giving. There was only a few reporters and staff on hand for his outdoor remarks.

Biden was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before he took the oath of office on Inauguration Day in January. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president will follow the new guidelines but conceded it will take some time to adapt the new habit. 

'He'll be following public health guidelines so I think you saw him outside today - he took the mask off, he didn't put the mask back on,' she said at her press briefing. 'It will take some time to adjust and adapt for all of us.' 

The president spoke for a little than five minutes about the pandemic, where he encouraged people to get vaccinated as the inoculation rate in the United States has started to drop off. He pointed out getting vaccinated means getting back to normal life. 

'Vaccines are about saving your life, but also the lives of the people around you, but they're also about helping to get us get back to closer to living our normal lives, getting together with friends, going through the park for a picnic without needing a basket or back to that place now as long as you get vaccinated,' Biden said. 'So go get the shot. It's never been easier.' 

He also pointed out the new CDC guidelines: 'Starting today, if you’re fully vaccinated and you’re outdoors and not in a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask.'

After his remarks, he left the podium, set up next to the driveway outside the White House, with his face mask in hand. 

President Joe Biden said he wore a face mask so people could watch him take it off and not put it back on until he was inside

President Joe Biden said he wore a face mask so people could watch him take it off and not put it back on until he was inside

President Biden removes his face mask when he arrives at the podium to speak, where he addressed the new CDC guidance on mask wearing

President Biden removes his face mask when he arrives at the podium to speak, where he addressed the new CDC guidance on mask wearing

President Biden arrives to give his remarks wearing a face mask
Biden leaves the outdoor podium with his face mask in hand

 President Biden arrives to give his remarks wearing a face mask but leaves with his face mask in hand

President Biden spoke from the North Lawn of the White House, with his podium near the drive way

President Biden spoke from the North Lawn of the White House, with his podium near the drive way

President Biden used his speech to encourage Americans to get vaccinated as the inoculation rate is dropping

President Biden used his speech to encourage Americans to get vaccinated as the inoculation rate is dropping


Earlier Tuesday, the CDC eased up on the guidelines requiring face masks. Biden had called on all Americans to mask up for 100 days when he became president. Thursday marks his 100th day in office.  

'If you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you,' said CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky during a Tuesday COVID team briefing. 

'There are many situations in which Americans do not need to wear masks if they are fully vaccinated, particularly outdoors.' 

As long as they are outside, people who are fully vaccinated can now exercise, go to small gatherings or restaurants with people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated. 

It comes amid mounting evidence - finally acknowledged by the CDC on Tuesday - that outdoor transmission of coronavirus is exceedingly rare, accounting for less than 10 percent of cases. Those risks are mainly linked to crowded events that can turn into super-spreader events, or people who were in close range of one another. 

However, in crowded places like concerts, parades or sporting events, even vaccinated people should still wear masks, the CDC's new guidance says. 

The guidance is merely that - advice about what the health agency has deemed safe - and is not enforceable. It's up to states, counties and cities to issue mask mandates and other restrictions. 

Several states, including Massachusetts and Kentucky rolled back their guidelines on mask-wearing outdoors on Tuesday morning, in anticipation of the update to the guidelines. 

Unvaccinated people can shed their masks too, if they are outside exercising or at small outdoor gatherings with vaccinated friends and families.   .  

U.S. health officials unveiled a list of outdoor activities that it now considers safe for fully vaccinated Americans to do without masks, including exercising, going to small gatherings and eating outside. However, vaccinated people should still wear masks in crowds

U.S. health officials unveiled a list of outdoor activities that it now considers safe for fully vaccinated Americans to do without masks, including exercising, going to small gatherings and eating outside. However, vaccinated people should still wear masks in crowds 

U.S. health officials announced on Tuesday that vaccinated Americans can shed their masks outside - unless they are in a crowd

U.S. health officials announced on Tuesday that vaccinated Americans can shed their masks outside - unless they are in a crowd 


Officials faced scrutiny over saying that the risk of transmission of coronavirus is extremely low outside, while continuing to tell unvaccinated people to keep their masks on while outdoors. 

'There is increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors, less than 10 percent of documented transmissions in many studies have occurred outdoors, we also know there's almost a 20-fold increase of transmission in the indoor setting versus the outdoor setting,' explained Dr Walensky. 

'That coupled with the fact that we now have 37 percent over the age of 18 fully vaccinated and the fact that case rates now are starting to come down motivated our change.' 

As of Tuesday, about 29 percent of Americans of any age are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. So far, 42.5 percent of the population has had a first dose. 

The data on outdoor transmission of Covid - although somewhat limited - suggests it is rare. 

In aggregate, a Journal of Infectious Diseases study found that outdoor transmission accounts for only about 10 percent of transmissions. 

One of the five found that just two out of 7,324 cases were the result of outdoor transmission. 

A second found four out of 103 infections had been contracted outside, and a third found 95 instances of outdoor spread in 10,926 infections. 

The risk varies depending on what outdoor activities are involved however. One of the studies found that one in seven super-spreader events had been outdoors. 

Overarchingly, the takeaway from these studies seems to be that if your contact is close enough, transmission can happen anywhere. 

But if you're outside, and not in a tightly packed crowd, the odds of contracting coronavirus appear minimal.  

Fully vaccinated people can soon 'return to normal,' Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on Tuesday ahead of the announcement.  

'You're vaccinated, guess what, you get to return to a normal lifestyle! You're not vaccinated, you're still a danger, you're still in danger as well, so get vaccinated,' Becerra said on CBS 'This Morning.'

'When you get vaccinated, you can join [the two-thirds of vaccinated seniors] outdoors, and not have to wear masks,' he said. 

But he gave conflicting signals. When asked directly if a vaccinated person can stop wearing a mask outside, Becerra waffled. 

'We want to get back to our normal lifestyle, we want to get our economy restarted, we want to get people back at work, restaurants open, you gotta do that the right way, and masks help, vaccinations help, but masks are still important,' he said, adding that he is vaccinated but still wears a mask. 

The odds of catching coronavirus outside are about 19 times lower than they are indoors, according to a large review of research, and health officials like Dr Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have acknowledged that the risk of catching or spreading Covid outside, especially after vaccination, is low. 

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