President Joe Biden asked attendees at a White House press briefing not to mention that he wasn’t wearing a face mask.
Biden cited his negative coronavirus tests after he ascended a stage to the presidential dias Wednesday — before pulling a black mask from his pocket.
“I’ve been tested again today. I’m clear. Across the board.”
Biden pointed to orders — seemingly from either White House staff or medical personnel — that he was to wear a mask for 10 days following the coronavirus diagnosis of first lady Jill Biden.
“But they keep telling me, because it has to be 10 days or something, I gotta keep wearing them.”
“But don’t tell them I didn’t have it on when I walked in. Alright?”
Biden refused to wear a mask during the rest of the news conference, in which he spoke about negotiations between international shipping companies and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
It’s unclear if Biden was being entirely serious during the mask monologue.
The remarks led some to question who is seemingly in charge of Biden’s personal health measures.
Biden has previously suggested that he requires permission from other governmental figures for certain actions.
The president expressed his desire to visit Ukraine in 2022, while stating the Secret Service had forbidden it, according to the New York Post.
No federal official or agency has any legal authority to mandate the president wear a mask without his consent or to dictate his travel plans.
Former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed fear that Americans will refuse to wear face masks as new strains of the virus circulate, according to Fortune.
A comprehensive analysis of scientific studies led by University of Oxford epidemiologist Tom Jefferson concluded that mask mandates were ineffective at preventing the spread of coronavirus, according to The New York Times.