Joe Biden refuses to criticize Democratic governors for lifting mask mandates

President Biden on Thursday opted not to criticize the Democratic governors who have bucked his administration and lifted mask mandates for businesses and schools in their states.

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“It’s hard to say if they’re wrong,” Mr. Biden said in a sit-down interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt. “The science is saying now that masks work, masks make a difference.”

Governors in New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Oregon, New York, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Delaware all announced plans this week to relax their mask mandates.

Mr. Biden said of the states’ actions, “I’ve committed that I would follow the science as put forward by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and federal people and I think it’s probably premature, but it’s, you know, it’s a tough call.”

When asked if children should have to wear masks in schools, Mr. Biden said he expects children won’t be wearing them much longer.

“When I got into office, only 46% of schools were open, now 98% of them are open and they’re wearing masks,” Mr. Biden said.

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“What’s happening is every day that goes by, children are more protected,” he said. “We’re now on the verge of being able to have shots for children under the age of seven and young children and so the more protection they have, probably you’re going to see less and less requirements to have the mask.”

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