by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden has continued working after his COVID-19 diagnosis while unmasked White House officials provide updates on his status and refuse to call for new mandates or restrictions, all of which is drawing scrutiny from the Left.
Biden released a video shortly after his diagnosis in which he reassured the public that he’s doing well and continuing to fill the capacities of the presidency, standing outside the White House in a blazer and speaking without a mask.
“I really appreciate your inquiries and concerns, but I’m doing well, getting a lot of work done, and I’m going to continue to get it done,” he said from the Truman Balcony. “In the meantime, thanks for your concern, and keep the faith. It’s going to be OK.”
Biden’s Twitter account posted images of him working on Friday as well, projecting a sense of normalcy.
But the relatively laid-back stance angered some on the Left, who continue calling for mask mandates and social distancing and think the president should be too.
“I think Biden’s own COVID response is what made this [illness] inevitable, really,” Artie Vierkant, co-host of a left-leaning podcast that has promoted a universal mask mandate and paid sick leave for those with the virus, told the Washington Post. “He’s just one of tens or hundreds of thousands of people who are going to test positive for COVID today.”
Another expert quoted by the Washington Post blamed the White House for pushing a “back-to-normal” stance that it’s “not correcting” in the face of new variants.
Such sentiment is echoed in such liberal bastions as San Diego and Los Angeles County, which are reintroducing mask mandates this summer despite the presence of vaccines, treatments such as Paxlovid, and a population that has largely developed antibodies to fight the disease.