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Politics Vaccinated Joe Biden still wears mask outside 'out of habit'

11:05  03 may  2021
11:05  03 may  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Anita Dunn, Joe Biden posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

One of President Joe Biden's top White House advisers suggested on Sunday that he's still wearing a mask outdoors out of habit despite the latest public health guidance saying he doesn't need it.

Questioned about Biden's practice, senior adviser Anita Dunn told CNN's State of the Union that she realized that she was also still wearing her mask outdoors even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people like her and Biden can stop wearing masks outside when they're alone or not among strangers.

'I myself found that I was still wearing my mask outdoors this week, because it has become such a matter of habit,' Dunn said.

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Jake Tapper, Anita Dunn are posing for a picture: 'I think the president takes the CDC guidelines very seriously. And he's always taken his role as sending a signal to follow the science very seriously, as well,' Biden's senior adviser Anita Dunn said to CNN on Sunday © Provided by Daily Mail 'I think the president takes the CDC guidelines very seriously. And he's always taken his role as sending a signal to follow the science very seriously, as well,' Biden's senior adviser Anita Dunn said to CNN on Sunday

'I think the president takes the CDC guidelines very seriously. And he's always taken his role as sending a signal to follow the science very seriously, as well.'

Biden wore a mask outdoors several times last week as he approached microphones to give speeches, including an appearance on the White House lawn last Tuesday to discuss the CDC's relaxed mask guidance.

Asked afterward about the message he was sending by wearing a mask outside as he stood alone, Biden replied: 'By watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get inside.'

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On Thursday, the president spent some 30 seconds looking for his face mask during an appearance in Georgia despite the fact that he has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

'Looking for my mask, I'm in trouble,' the president said as he searched the podium in Duluth.

Biden was in the Peach State on Thursday to mark his 100th day in office and to tout his $4trillion infrastructure proposal designed to fix the country’s crumbling highways and bridges.

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After he delivered his speech, he was joined on stage by the two Democratic senators from the state - but the president was seen fumbling through his binder full of notes as he appeared to have misplaced his mask.

Biden got some help from his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, who leafed through the binder but was unable to locate the elusive face covering.

Finally, an aide walked up to the stage and handed the president the mask, much to his delight as he held it aloft.

His dogged insistence on continuing to wear a mask in obviously safe settings has sparked controversy, with critics claiming Biden's behavior is pointless, and could even undermine faith in COVID-19 vaccines.

The president - who completed his two-dose Pfizer COVID vaccine in January - says he is sticking with mask wearing America's huge vaccination drive continues, in a bid to set a good example.

a group of people standing around each other: Biden was in the Peach State on Thursday to mark his 100th day in office and to tout his $4trillion infrastructure proposal designed to fix the country’s crumbling highways and bridges. © Provided by Daily Mail Biden was in the Peach State on Thursday to mark his 100th day in office and to tout his $4trillion infrastructure proposal designed to fix the country’s crumbling highways and bridges.

The CDC recently said Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 don't need to cover their faces anymore unless they're in a large crowd of strangers.

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Some public health experts have questioned Biden's continued mask-wearing outdoors.

Speaking on CNN on Sunday, Dunn said some extra precautions are taken with Biden since he is president.

She urged people to follow CDC guidelines and to get fully vaccinated because that will mean they can go mask-free outside as summer approaches.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: President Biden removes his face mask when he arrives at the podium to speak, where he addressed the new CDC guidance on mask wearing last week © Provided by Daily Mail President Biden removes his face mask when he arrives at the podium to speak, where he addressed the new CDC guidance on mask wearing last week a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: 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 © Provided by Daily Mail 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

Last week, 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 stressed that 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.'

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a group of people walking down a sidewalk next to a tree: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

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.

'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.

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