Staffers in Joe Biden’s White House are taking flak for apparently violating their boss’s recent order mandating that masks be worn on federal property in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Among those facing criticism for flouting the face-covering rules are White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, both of whom went maskless at a White House presser on Friday, according to Breitbart.
The development wasn’t lost on the social media director for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, Mike Hahn.
Jen Psaki talking about Biden’s mask mandate on federal property, standing maskless on federal property pic.twitter.com/cpKsy46ZLq
— Mike Hahn (@mikehahn_) January 21, 2021
Biden’s first orders of business
The White House staffers’ bare faces showed up on national television in the wake of a series of executive orders signed by President Biden “[t]o protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce, and to ensure the continuity of Government services and activities.”
The mask mandate in particular is slated to last a period of 100 days and marks a promise kept for Biden — sort of. According to BuzzFeed News, Biden doesn’t have the authority to order masks worn nationwide, but he “has signed two executive orders mandating people wear a mask: one for lands and buildings controlled by the federal government, and another for public modes of transportation and ports of entry into the U.S.”
The order notes that heads of agencies “may make categorical or case-by-case exceptions.” Such exceptions must be documented, however, and must be accompanied by “additional physical distancing measures, additional testing, or reconfiguration of workspace, consistent with applicable law.”
It remains unclear whether Psaki or Deese fell under this criteria.
A pattern of hypocrisy
Of course, if Psaki and Deese were indeed skirting the rules, they may just be following the example of their boss. Just hours after swearing in as president, Biden faced pushback after being caught maskless at the Lincoln Memorial posing for photographs with family and friends, according to reports.
Biden was busted violating his orders again on Thursday, when he spoke from the State Dining room without a mask. During this appearance, Biden was also caught on camera coughing into his hand, Breitbart reported.
Pressed by reporters to explain the discrepancy, Biden’s press secretary was dismissive. “I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time,” Psaki said Thursday, according to BuzzFeed.
But when Democrats consistently put forth a “rules for thee, not for me” attitude, they can’t expect conservatives not to cry foul. The hypocrisy is just too blatant to ignore.