White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden for quickly violating his own mandate that Americans wear masks on federal property, justifying his actions by explaining that the president was “celebrating.”
What are the details?
Biden has caught scrutiny from critics for violating his very first executive order requiring masks and social distancing on federal property within hours of signing it after he took office Wednesday, when he was seen on camera maskless and crowding in for pictures with his entirely mask-free family at the Lincoln Memorial.
Celebrities who spoke and performed for Biden’s inaugural festivities were also seen violating the mandate during the evening engagement.
Psaki was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy during her press conference Thursday, “Why weren’t President Biden and all members of the Biden family masked at all times on federal lands last night if he signed an executive order that mandates masks on federal lands at all times?”
“I think, Steve, he was celebrating an evening, a historic day in our country,” Psaki replied, calling Doocy by the wrong name. “And certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks, how it can save tens of thousands of lives.”
The White House press secretary added that the administration takes “a number of COVID precautions” and listed a handful, saying, “I don’t know that I have more for you on it than that.”
“But as Joe Biden often talks about, it is not just important the example of power, but the power of our example,” Doocy pressed. “Was that a good example for people who were watching who might not pay attention normally?”
“Well Steve, I think the power of his example is also the message he sends by signing 25 executive orders including almost half of them related to COVID,” Psaki responded, wrongly identifying the reporter again before reiterating, “Yesterday was a historic moment in our history, he was inaugurated as president of the United States, he was surrounded by his family—we take a number of precautions, but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.”
Jen Psaki is asked why Joe Biden and members of his family weren't wearing masks at the Lincoln Memorial last night after signing the mask mandate on federal lands:
"He was celebrating a historic day in our country… We have bigger things to worry about." pic.twitter.com/wLjD1V0k1f
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 21, 2021
Psaki has already dodged on a number of questions from the press since Biden inaugurated less than 48 hours ago, skirting a question on abortion by mentioning that the president is a church-goer, and refusing to disclose Biden’s position on getting rid of the Senate filibuster or on whether he supports the upper chamber moving forward with an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump.