Just in time for Joe Biden’s State of the Union, the Capitol and White House have lifted their mask mandates so now we can tell who is really scowling or sleeping through the speech.
The timing of the mask mandates being lifted on the eve of the important address is suspicious and seems aimed at showing voters and the world that the U.S. is moving on from COVID-19.
It’s yet another desperate attempt to bolster Biden because he’s incapable of doing it himself.
House Physician Brian P. Monahan says masks are now an “individual choice option” because of declining coronavirus rates of transmission in Washington.
Hours later, the White House changed its mask policy so they are no longer mandatory, according to internal emails.
It would be nice if the rest of the country can move on from mask mandates — not just a select few in the Capitol or White House.
But cities like Boston and Mayor Michelle Wu are stubbornly clinging to the face-covering mandate for schools and public buildings.
The change in mask policy in Washington comes as Biden struggles to overcome huge obstacles to his presidency, most notably Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation and gas prices in the U.S.
Biden will try to put the best possible face on his beleaguered presidency — no pun intended — for his first ever State of the Union.
He will undoubtedly try to convince Americans that the strong sanctions against Russia and its president Vladimir Putin are working, despite the heartbreaking and violent scenes coming out of Ukraine.
Biden also plans on pushing his “Build Back Better” plan, which has faltered in Congress and seems dead.
And he will try to introduce measures to ease what officials refuse to call “inflation” – the words they use instead are “price increases” that “become entrenched.” Isn’t that the definition of inflation?
“I”m not going to go into whether he will say the word ‘inflation’ or not,” one official said in one of those pre-State of the Union briefings for the media.
The reality is that these speeches tend to be forgotten – it’s the theatrics surrounding the speech that is the most memorable, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Donald Trump’s speech a few years ago.
Biden seems incapable of delivering a strong address even though it’s written out for him on the TelePrompter.
The speech is being delivered amidst unprecedented security in Washington and around the Capitol building, with tensions high because of the Eastern Europe conflict and a threatened action by truckers upset over mask mandates