Last month, Joe Biden announced that Americans would be allowed to gather with their families and even their friends in small groups to have cookouts and barbecues on Independence Day if we all did our part and got vaccinated. He also said that we would be issued “additional guidance” at a later date regarding what we can and can’t do at work, in church, and with our friends.
On Tuesday, Biden revealed that additional guidance: Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may now, “starting today,” be allowed to go outside without a mask, as long as they’re “not in a big crowd.”
Biden, who has been fully vaccinated himself, wore a mask as he approached reporters outside the White House to talk about the newly relaxed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
“I want to be absolutely clear. If you’re in a crowd like a stadium or at a conference — or a concert — you still need to wear a mask even if you’re outside. But beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic — as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask,” Biden said.
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson couldn’t resist letting the CDC in on a little secret:
Pssst…CDC: most Americans weren’t wearing masks outside anyway.
— Sharyl Attkisson🕵️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) April 27, 2021
“The CDC is able to make this announcement because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low, if you’ve both been fully vaccinated and out in the open air,” Biden added.
He stated that “if you’re vaccinated, you can do more things, more safely both indoors and outdoors,” adding that that should be an inducement for more people to get vaccinated.
The vaccines, he said, are about saving lives and helping us “get closer to normal.”
Biden was asked why Americans who have not had the virus, still need to mask up outdoors if the risk of contracting the virus outside is so low.
“Because the science indicates that the most certain way to know it doesn’t spread is if both people have been vaccinated—the people you’re with, and you’re outside,” Biden replied.
“Sir, you chose to wear a mask as you walked out here. What message were you sending by wearing a mask outside alone?” the reporter asked.
“By watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get it inside,” Biden answered nonsensically.
Q: "Sir, you chose to wear a mask as you walked out here. What message were you sending by wearing a mask outside alone?"@JoeBiden: "By watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get it inside." pic.twitter.com/yS1cCylJNC
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 27, 2021
The CDC’s current guidelines for wearing masks outdoors states:
Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with people who live in your household. A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least six feet apart, especially when indoors around people who don’t live in your household.
The CDC considers people to be “fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.60% shot or two weeks after getting the second dose of the Moderna MRNA, +3.27% or Pfizer PFE, -0.54% jabs.”
Currently, none of coronavirus vaccines are fully approved by the FDA, but three were given emergency use authorization by the agency: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was pulled from the market earlier this month after a number of cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot were reported in the United States.
Biden said he would have more to say about what Americans will be allowed to do in his State of the Union speech next week. Last week, he warned that Americans may be forced to cancel their plans for celebrating the 4th of July this year if too many Americans chose to not get vaccinated.