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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Biden Signs Executive Order Requiring Masks on Federal Property, Then Goes Maskless at Lincoln Memorial

In his first day of office, Joe Biden signed several executive orders pertaining to the coronavirus, which he says will be the top priority of his administration. 

Though a president cannot dictate what individual states must do, Biden’s first executive order, the “100 Days Masking Challenge,” requires federal offices and lands to mask up and encourages states to do the same.

“This executive action will direct the agencies to take action to require compliance with CDC guidance on mask wearing and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors,” said Biden counselor Jeff Zients. 

“And the president will call on governors, public health officials, mayors, business leaders and others to implement masking, physical distancing and other public measures to control COVID-19,” he added. 

“Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives. That’s why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It’s time to mask up, America,” Biden said in a tweet. 

 

Ironically enough, just hours after signing his federal mask mandate, Biden visited the Lincoln Memorial, which is on federal land, without a mask. 

Conservatives quickly criticized Biden for his hypocrisy. 

“Does Joe Biden’s new executive order mandating masks on federal property not apply to Joe Biden while he’s on federal property? Because here he is at the Lincoln Memorial with no mask just hours after signing it,” Human Events contributor and national thought leader Charlie Kirk wrote on Twitter. 

In another order, Biden appointed Jeffrey D. Zients as the official COVID-19 response coordinator in an effort to “aggressively” increase the nation’s pandemic response. The order also restores the directorate for global health security and biodefense at the National Security Council, the New York Times reports.

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