Forget about the other freedoms President Joe Biden is crushing with his new administration — the simple act of leaving your house with a naked face may be gone for good.
In a briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki effectively promised mask mandates forever despite the safe, effective vaccine that will soon be available to all Americans.
She made that promise as she fielded a reporter’s question about a widely disseminated video clip showing maskless patrons and workers at a Naples, Florida, grocery store.
“As #Flordia fights community spread of COVID on a massive scale, this is a 15-second snapshot of a supermarket in Naples,” NBC’s Sam Brock captioned the video.
“Many employees and customers- even older ones- with no masks on inside. Store sign outside cites ‘medical exemptions,’ we can’t ask questions,” he wrote.
As #Flordia fights community spread of COVID on a massive scale, this is a 15-second snapshot of a supermarket in Naples. Many employees and customers- even older ones- with no masks on inside. Store sign outside cites “medical exemptions,” we can’t ask questions. @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/rNUSOPLjeB
— Sam Brock (@SamBrockNBC) February 3, 2021
The reporter asked what the administration would do to combat such heresy, and Psaki went through the usual drivel about how everyone in the room was masked and touted Biden’s mask mandate on federal land and during air travel.
She then went on to explicitly state how the administration plans on keeping masks and other measures firmly in place despite the recent “incredible medical breakthrough” in the inoculation.
“I’ll reiterate it here today: It’s not just a vaccine, as obviously an incredible medical breakthrough, and we want every American to have one,” Psaki said.
“But even after vaccinated, social distancing, wearing masks are going to be essential, and we’ll need to continue communicating about that through health and medical experts,” she said.
When coronavirus lockdowns were first imposed, Americans were largely on board with the “15 days to slow the spread” promise, allowing the nation to temporarily grind to a halt with the promise of tamping down the novel virus so life could move on again quickly.
It quickly became clear that the measures the White House Coronavirus Task Force imposed were futile, yet experts persisted through several more months of lockdowns with the goal of getting back to normal life once an effective vaccine was created.
Then Pfizer announced its vaccine that was 90 percent effective — suspiciously six days after the 2020 presidential election — and Americans assumed life would finally go back to normal.
Yet it became troublingly obvious that Democrats were not interested in life returning to what it was before they had complete control over Americans’ every move — and if that sounds like a conspiracy, simply listen again to Psaki.
Many on social media settled on the same conclusion that the press secretary’s comments may finally vindicate early murmurings that politicians were exploiting the very real coronavirus to express their very real authoritarian tendencies.
WARNING: The following tweet contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
“Two weeks to flatten the curve to shut down the country to everyone has to get vaccinated to even after vaccination you still need to wear masks and to social distance,” political commentator Dave Rubin tweeted.
“A f—–g year later now. You guys get it yet?”
Two weeks to flatten the curve to shut down the country to everyone has to get vaccinated to even after vaccination you still need to wear masks and to social distance. A fucking year later now. You guys get it yet?
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) February 4, 2021
“Proof the lockdowns were just about permanent power for the left,” author and documentarian Dinesh D’Souza charged.
“Psaki says masks and social distancing will be needed AFTER people get their vaccines.”
Proof the lockdowns were just about permanent power for the left.
Psaki says masks and social distancing will be needed AFTER people get their vaccines…WATCH: https://t.co/1mkMKohBTu
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 4, 2021
“IT WILL NEVER END!” conservative talk radio host Buck Sexton said of Psaki’s response.
IT WILL NEVER END!
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said today that “social distancing and wearing masks are going to be essential even after vaccinated.” (Video)https://t.co/yCVjUMijpN
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 4, 2021
“Do we have any evidence for this? Because here’s the reality: the main reason people, particularly those who are under 65, are getting the vaccine is so they can stop socially distancing and masking,” Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro tweeted.
Do we have any evidence for this? Because here’s the reality: the main reason people, particularly those who are under 65, are getting the vaccine is so they can stop socially distancing and masking. https://t.co/9knIbJ1g2r
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 4, 2021
The efficacy of masks is largely undisputed, although the absurd new recommendation to double up on them is a head-scratcher if they work so well.
Still, forcing Americans to cover their faces for nearly a year, then extending that requirement even as a vaccine has been developed and is currently being administered, can cause a nagging skepticism to blossom into a full-blown conspiracy theory.
Nearly everyone understands what’s at stake for those vulnerable to COVID-19, and many have tragically experienced the loss of family members because of it.
However, Americans know it’s a calculated risk to go back into the world again sans mask, but they want to get back to their normal lives — and they should have the right to do so.
Biden doesn’t have the power to impose a national mask mandate, but Democrats are not used to obeying the will of the people anyway, as evidenced by his excessive use of executive orders to implement unpopular policies.
Lockdowns, mask mandates, school closures, economic stress and all the rest that comes with continuing COVID-19 mitigation policies that Democrats are keeping long after a vaccine is on the market are strong indicators that this may be about more than just a benevolent medical concern from politicians.
If people want to get back to their normal lives, it doesn’t look like that’s possible under this administration anytime soon — but President Donald Trump’s voters already knew that.
Too bad the other half of the country wasn’t paying attention. But they just might when 2022 midterm elections roll around.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.