Despite touting his administration’s performance in distributing COVID-19 vaccines to millions of Americans, President Joe Biden has repeatedly urged everyone to continue to adhere to strict mitigation guidelines at the federal, state, and local levels.
During his recent congressional address, however, Biden appeared to violate several of those very same mandates, including his executive orders and rules put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as Breitbart reported.
Several notable violations
After he was introduced to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Biden greeted several members with fist bumps, clearly engaging within the recommended six feet of social distancing.
He then approached the podium where he delivered his speech without a face mask. Afterward, he gave out another round of fist bumps and spoke with members crowded around him on the House floor.
In addition to the apparent violations of his own order and Pelosi’s rules mandating face masks, the president’s actions ran contrary to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the CDC, even fully vaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times while indoors, particularly around unvaccinated individuals.
Additionally, the organization urges people to practice social distancing and avoid “large-sized in-person gatherings” indoors. The congressional address arguably qualified even with a significantly reduced attendance compared to similar speeches by previous presidents.
“As provided in CDC guidelines”
As for whether all of those presents on Capitol Hill were fully vaccinated, reports indicate that there is no guarantee. Pelosi admitted on Thursday that she was not capable of forcing all members and staffers to receive an inoculation against the pandemic virus.
Estimates show that about 75% of legislators were fully vaccinated with the remaining lawmakers remaining unvaccinated for a variety of reasons. Therefore, experts would have encouraged Bidenm to observe and comply with CDC guidelines regardless of his own vaccination.
Furthermore, Biden seemed to violate an executive order he handed down on his first day in office, which requires all individuals on federal property to “wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”
As for Pelosi’s rules, she mandated in June that all House members, staffers, and others inside the House chamber wear a mask with the exception of those actively delivering a speech. That exception effectively disappeared in mid-December, though, when the speaker reserved the right to deny speaking time to anyone who failed to comply with the mask mandate.
The following month, she took it a step further by imposing fines on members who failed to abide by her strict policies. Although Biden might have been exempted from the House rules and fines only apply to members and staffers, his performance did not send the message that he is interested in leading by example.