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Senior Biden advisor pressed on why Biden isn't following new CDC guidelines

Quoting former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, Tapper states that Biden continuing to wear a mask may discourage people from getting vaccinated.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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On Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper questioned Senior Advisor to President Joe Biden Anita Dunn on why the president continues to wear a mask although he’s been fully vaccinated and CDC guidelines state that in many cases he can take the mask off.

Quoting former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, Tapper states that Biden continuing to wear a mask may discourage people from getting vaccinated.

"...at best, it makes public health measures seem performative rather than science-based. At worst, it calls vaccine efficacy into question," said Dr Leana Wen.

"Should the president start following these guidelines and stop wearing a mask outdoors, stop wearing a mask indoors with small groups of other vaccinated Americans to show the American people there's a benefit to getting the vaccine? You can take the mask off," asks Tapper.

Dunn defended Biden, saying that she still found herself wearing her mask now out of habit, and that extra precautions are taken with Biden because he is the president.

"I think the president takes the CDC guidelines very seriously, and he's always taken his role as sending the signal to follow the science very seriously as well," said Dunn. "We do take some xtra precautions for him because he is the President of the United States, but I would say that people should follow the CDC guidelines and they should take advantage of getting the vaccine, getting fully vaccinated, and taking that mask off."

Last week, President Biden told NBC's Today in an interview that still wearing a mask despite being vaccinated is "a small precaution to take that has a profound impact. It's a patriotic responsibility, for God sake."

When asked whether Biden would start following the new guidelines and stop wearing masks in situation that allowed, Biden responded "sure, but what I'm going to do though, because the likelihood of my being able to be outside and people not come up to me is not very high."

"You and I took our masks off when I came in, because look at the distance we are, but if we were in fact sitting there talking to one another close, I'd have my mask on and I'd imagine you'd have your mask on even though we've both been vaccinated," Biden added.

The CDC issued new guidelines last week for people that have been fully vaccinated , stating that those people can now gather in small groups with other vaccinated people unmasked, and conduct outdoor activities without a mask as long as they are not in crowded areas.

White House Press Secretary called these new guidelines an "incentive to get vaccinated" in a press briefing last week.

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