President Joe Biden just gave unvaccinated Americans an ultimatum in his ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Breitbart, the president declared Thursday that individuals must either receive a vaccination for the coronavirus, or continue to wear a face mask in many public situations.
“A year of hard work”
The executive decree came in the form of a tweet: “After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the new rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.”
Biden later reiterated the point in a statement, capping it off with the assertion that the “choice is yours.”
His remarks came as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to issue new guidance permitting fully vaccinated Americans to go without a mask in most indoor and outdoor situations.
“Big news from the CDC: If you’re fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask — indoors or outdoors, in most settings,” the agency declared. “We’ve gotten this far. Whether you choose to get vaccinated or wear a mask, please protect yourself until we get to the finish line.”
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky discussed the change in a recent interview, noting that fully vaccinated individuals “can participate in indoor and outdoor activities large or small without wearing a mask or physical distancing.”
“You should get vaccinated”
She went on to encourage them to “start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
The risk remains high, however, for the unvaccinated, Walensky warned.
“You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or of spreading the disease to others,” she declared, according to Breitbart. “You should still mask, and you should get vaccinated right away.”
Of course, much of the backlash against Biden’s comments played out on social media, including a common Twitter narrative questioning whether his “rule” represents an infringement on Americans’ rights. He has courted such controversy since his first day in office and an executive order mandating mask use on federal property.
There are still plenty of questions about the logic behind continued mask use and how the Biden administration’s response will play out in the long term, including how the CDC’s new relaxed guidelines will factor into the equation.