President Joe Biden lamented Tuesday that wearing a mask to stop the spread of the coronavirus had become divisive in the United States.
“Masks have needlessly divided this country,” Biden said. “Masking, as directed, is a patriotic duty, but so is treating each other with respect and patience.”
The president spoke about the next phase of the ongoing federal vaccination effort for the coronavirus.
He encouraged Americans to get their vaccine shots, but he did not offer a benchmark for what it would take to end mask mandates.
“If we can continue to drive vaccinations up and caseloads down, we’ll need our masks less and less,” Biden said.
The president stepped up to the podium holding his mask in his hand and left the event without wearing his mask — despite his assertion in an interview he would still wear his mask in the White House even