22 Jan 2021
President Joe Biden on Friday lowered expectations of his administration’s ability to affect the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the coming months.Biden made the remark during a press conference addressing the signage of two more executive orders: one aimed at increasing food stamp benefits and the other for workers’ rights.
“If we fail to act, there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as this pandemic rages on,” Biden said. “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”
Biden’s remark comes after the president signed an order mandating both masks and social distancing on federal property — a directive he and members of his family appear to have violated shortly after enacting it. On the day of his inauguration, Biden, first lady Jill Biden, along with several family members took photos with masks — and one without.
Earlier Wednesday, Biden said, “Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.” When asked Thursday why the Biden family went maskless for a photo, White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied dismissively.
“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,” Psaki explained. “I think he was celebrating in the evening of a historic day in our country 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.”
When pressed on why Biden did not lead by the “power of his example” regarding masks, Paski shot back, “The power of his example is also the message he sends by signing 25 executive orders, including almost half of them related to COVID.”