President Joe Biden wore a face mask at an event Tuesday after being in close contact with First Lady Jill Biden, who tested positive for COVID on Monday. However, he was quick to remove them too – and didn’t put them back on despite the White House saying he would wear one.
Biden, who presented a Congressional Medal of Honor to Captain Larry Taylor, removed the black face covering during the prayer portion of the ceremony.
The president remains negative and showing no symptoms after testing Monday night and Tuesday morning, but will follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with testing and masking, the White House said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre warned Biden that if he keeps “sufficient” distance from others, he will remove his mask indoors.
“He will mask himself indoors and around people, consistent with CDC guidelines and as has been the practice in the past.” , she said Tuesday before the ceremony.
President Joe Biden accompanies retired Army Capt. Larry Taylor, Medal of Honor recipient – both wearing face masks
President Biden removes his face mask during the ceremony
President Biden removed his face covering to present the Medal of Honor to Captain Taylor
Both Biden and Taylor removed their face coverings as they took to the stage in the East Room. But they stood side by side, unmasked, as the President placed the medal around Taylor’s neck.
The President did not put his mask back on as he exited the East Room, but gave a thumbs-up when asked how First Lady Jill Biden was doing and said she was “fine.”
Meanwhile, Jill Biden missed the first day of school on Tuesday. The first lady, who teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College, is organizing a replacement for her classes.
“She works with NOVA to ensure her classes are covered by a substitute,” her office said.
The first lady is staying at the couple’s Rehoboth Beach home, where she was staying when she tested positive. The Bidens spent a long holiday weekend at their vacation home and traveled to Florida together on Saturday to view the damage from Hurricane Idalia.
Jill Biden has mild symptoms and will remain in Delaware for a week. President Biden tested negative for COVID-19 last night and tested negative again today. “He has no symptoms,” remarked Jean-Pierre.
“There are currently no updates to the White House COVID-19 protocols,” she noted.
COVID cases are rising across the country. Nationwide, COVID hospitalizations increased by nearly 19% and deaths by more than 21% in a single week, according to CDC data from late August.
Two new variants: The Omicron variant EG.5 – nicknamed Eris – has caught on in the US, while BA.2.86 is beginning to spread.
The first lady, 72, typically teaches on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s unclear when she will return to the White House and what her regular schedule is.
Jill Biden was also scheduled to attend a dinner Tuesday night for US athletes competing in the Invictus Games, the wound warrior games founded by Prince Harry.
She had to cancel this performance.
President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Captain Larry Taylor, a Vietnam War Army pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team about to be overrun by the enemy
President Joe Biden remains negative for COVID while Jill Biden missed the first day of school after testing positive
President Biden remains negative despite close contact with his wife.
The couple spent Sunday night together at their Rehoboth Beach home before Joe flew to Philadelphia on Monday to mark Labor Day with a speech to union members.
In a statement released Monday, Jill’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Alexander, said, “Tonight, the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19.”
“She is currently experiencing only mild symptoms.” “She will remain at her home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware,” Alexander said.
Jill Biden previously had COVID-19 last August and got stuck at the property where the couple vacationed on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
She was prescribed the antiviral Paxlovid and tested positive a few days later, contracting COVID again.
President Biden tested positive for COVID last July. He was also treated with Paxlovid and suffered a rebound case days later.
Both the President and First Lady are vaccinated and refreshed.
The president is expected to leave for the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, on Thursday.
“All travelers, including the President, will be tested before traveling to India,” Jean-Pierre said, noting that Biden would conduct the tests “on a regular basis.”
She would answer questions about what happens if Biden tests negative en route to the trip and how often he would test there.
The First Lady’s presence was not expected.
Jill Biden visited a school in Wisconsin last week
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Florida together on Saturday
As the number of COVID cases increases, neither the President nor the First Lady have worn a mask in public recently.
dr Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently caused a stir when he admitted there was a lack of data on whether masks could stop the spread of the virus.
“When you’re talking about the impact on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data is less telling,” Fauci said recently on CNN. “But there are also other studies that show that they may be protective at an individual level for the individual.”