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Biden Says States Easing Mask Mandates ‘Probably Premature’

Still, the developments have put the White House in an awkward position. The CDC continues to recommend mask use in areas of high and substantial transmission, which applies to most of the country.
Biden says states easing mask mandates 'probably premature'
© Associated Press/Alex Brandon

President Biden said Thursday that decisions by a growing number of states to lift mask mandates are “probably premature” but acknowledged that such decisions are a “tough call.”  

In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Biden seemed to try to avoid directly criticizing governors for easing mask mandates, but stood by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for masking in much of the country.  

“The science is saying now masks work, masks make a difference,” Biden said.  

“I committed that I would follow the science, the science as put forward by the CDC and the federal people,” Biden said later. “I think it’s probably premature but it’s a tough call.”  

Biden acknowledged that the current patchwork of guidance at the federal and state and local level is “confusing” but suggested that the need for masks, especially in schools, might ease once the COVID-19 vaccines are approved for younger children.  

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