Biden Suggests Americans Will Be Required to Wear Masks ‘Through the Next Year’
'I had a little discussion with my friends behind me, Dr. Collins and Dr. Fauci'
Joe Biden has said Americans could be required to wear masks “through the next year" during a speech at the National Institute of Health complex in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I had a little discussion with my friends behind me, Dr. Collins and Dr. Fauci, about whether or not I should take my mask off."
“And the truth is, although we’re more than 10 feet away, I think it’s important that I not."
"It’s critically important the message — and I realize I’m speaking to a vast majority — at least, I hope I am — of the folks out here at NIH," Biden added.
"You know that wearing this mask through the next year here can save lives — a significant numbers of lives.”
According to health officals, many of the same safety protocols will have to remain in place despite vaccinations.
Director of the COVID-19 Genomics UK, Sharon Peacock, said that there are growing concerns that virus mutations will "slow the process.”
President Biden: “It’s critically important … you know that wearing this mask, through the next year here, can save lives.”— The Recount (@therecount) February 11, 2021
“A significant number of lives.” pic.twitter.com/PI0C6HF8AW
“We remain in the teeth of this pandemic. January of 2021 was the deadliest month we’ve had. We lost over 100,000 — 100,000 of our fellow citizens,” Biden added.
“We’re on track to cross 500,000 dead Americans this next month."
"The new strains emerging create immense challenges, and masking is still the easiest thing to do to save lives. But we need everyone to mask up. ”
“And, by the way, I know it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s a patriotic responsibility. We’re in the middle of a war with this virus,” Biden continued.
“It’s a patriotic responsibility — not only if you care about your family if you care about your fellow Americans. Do you realize more people have died in the last 12 months — in the last 12 months than died in all four years in World War Two? All four years.”
“That’s why I asked what the full extent of my authority as president of the United States could be."
"I signed an executive order that required masking on all federal property, on modes of travel like planes, trains, and buses across interstate commerce,” he concluded on the subject.
“And I’ve been calling on governors — Republican and Democrat — and mayors — Republican and Democrat — and local officials to institute mask mandates within their jurisdictions. We need everyone to do their part for themselves, their loved ones, and yes, for their country. Mask up, America. Mask up.”
Earlier this month, Biden's chief of staff said they were looking at sending masks to every American household.
The White House is now seeking to get Americans to "mask up" to tackle COVID-19.
"We're looking at what can be done to quickly do this with the mask supplies that we have," he said.
Biden has since signed an executive order targeting travelers caught without masks and will hit "offenders" with large fines and possible "criminal penalties."