A Republican U.S. Senator from Florida noted Friday a double standard from President Joe Biden regarding his own administration’s mask mandate.
Biden “and his Administration violated their own rules on their first day in office! They want to impose mandates on Americans but refuse to abide by them,” tweeted Sen. Rick Scott from his handle used for political, rather than official purposes.
Scott spotlighted a snippet of a White House press conference from Thursday, when Press Secretary Jen Psaki fielded a question from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy about the President’s decision to go maskless on federal property, contravening his own policy.
Her take was that Biden was “celebrating.”
“I think, Steve (SIC), he was celebrating an evening of a historic day in our country. And certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks, how it can save tens of thousands of lives,” Psaki said. “We take a number of COVID precautions, as you know here, in terms of testing, social distancing, mask wearing ourselves, as we do every single day. But I don’t know that I have more for you on it than that.”
She conceded little ground in the followup, suggesting the singularity of the moment prevailed.
“Yesterday was a historic moment in our history. He was inaugurated as President of the United States. He was surrounded by his family. We take a number of precautions, but I don’t think — I think we have big — bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.”
For Scott and other Republicans, the mask issue predominated in 2020. Here in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis was pressed routinely for a mask mandate as case loads and hospitalizations surged under the weight of COVID-19 pressures.
But as Biden and his team are finding, a mask mandate can create optics problems of its own.
For Republicans well practiced in finding disconnects between the words and the actions of Democratic leaders mandating business shutdowns and the like, Biden’s gaffe is just another narrative point in an evolving story.
.@JoeBiden and his Administration violated their own rules on their first day in office!
They want to impose mandates on Americans but refuse to abide by them. https://t.co/jGwrWtS853
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) January 22, 2021