A newly-released photo of President Biden and the First Lady visiting a former president and first lady is making the rounds on social media, largely because of its strange appearance. Due to the camera angle and the placement of its subjects, the image appears as though the Bidens are giants and the Carters are unusually small. But quite a few observers have also noted that the Bidens removed their masks for the picture, taken in close quarters with a pair of nongenarians, then put the masks back on when departing the Carter home, stepping into the outdoors:
Nice to see Old Joe FINALLY showing confidence in the vaccine, meeting with vulnerables inside at close quarters unmasked! Such an improvement from the senseless outdoor masking that he was... oh pic.twitter.com/QeyHQnDJge— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) May 4, 2021
President and Mrs. Carter (96 and 93, respectively) are vaccinated, and CDC guidance says it's safe for vaccinated people to socialize indoors together. The CDC also says outdoor masking is unnecessary for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, except in very crowded areas. In terms of "setting an example" or whatever, it's a very odd choice for Biden to eschew his mask while his face is a few inches from very elderly people, yet wear the mask outside, and even on video conferences with other world leaders. In a recent conversation, Biden also told his socially-distanced interviewer -- contrary to the science -- that if they were sitting closer, they'd need to mask up, even though they are both vaccinated. This is a "patriotic duty" he claimed. Was it not Biden's patriotic duty, in that case, to remain masked with the Carters? And who does he think he's protecting walking outdoors with a mask on? The problem is the incoherence. None of this makes any sense, and it's certainly not rooted in data. It seems the guiding 'principle' is to basically wear a mask as often as possible, with seemingly random exceptions, to send the signal that he's the opposite of the previous president -- even if that means ignoring science and setting a bad example with his 'good example.' A medical expert recently panned Biden's "patriotic duty" line on CNN:
Thanks to @abbydphillip for having me join her in the studio today. When you’re vaccinated you can return to a normal life. The CDC and the administration are behind the curve on this. Vaccines work. https://t.co/NpAMH8bixW— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) May 2, 2021
Bravo. More of this, please. Unfortunately, the incoherence is everywhere. In Washington DC, the mayor made a sensible adjustment, then quickly backed off after an intense backlash from anti-science leftists who prize obedient, restrictive "safety" over data.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser appears to have backtracked on loosening mask restrictions for fully vaccinated adults, less than 24 hours after issuing her original order. The mayor's amended order now allows businesses to require vaccination cards upon entry, though checking for proof of vaccination would be up to the business's discretion. Customers would still be required to wear a mask inside, regardless of their vaccination status.
And it gets more absurd:
As wedding season kicks off in May, D.C. has a strict new rule in place. Guests cannot dance or stand during a wedding cocktail hour or reception...For some couples no dancing and standing is a deal breaker so they’re looking to move their wedding to a place where restrictions are looser like their hometowns or Virginia or Maryland. In Virginia, weddings are capped at 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. However, starting May 15, those numbers will increase to 100 people inside and 250 outside. Over in Maryland, outdoor and indoor venues can operate at 50% capacity. Both states do not have any sort of ban on dancing and standing during weddings like there is in D.C.
It's a new rule against dancing and standing at weddings. Sorry, newlyweds, your first dance is just too dangerous (despite, as Brit Hume observed yesterday, what newlyweds are likely to be doing later in the evening). Allahpundit is right, of course, that wedding revenue will simply bleed into the neighboring states, and if anyone contracts the virus, they'll simply bring it back into DC with them. Terrific planning, as usual, by DC leadership. Meanwhile, they're forcing cops to do stuff like this:
Just watched 4 DC metropolitan police escort an old man in full Nats apparel out of @Nationals park because he didn’t have his mask over his nose while sitting in his (outdoor, distanced) seat.— Ariel Cohen (@ArielCohen37) May 2, 2021
There has to be a better way.
An elderly man -- likely vaccinated -- thrown out of the ballpark by four officers because he wasn't fully wearing his mask, while sitting distanced and outdoors, watching baseball. Madness. Speaking of insanity, this is what it looks like when you're so performatively "pro-science" that you ostentatiously reject science. Galaxy brain progressivism, right here:
Brookline MA, the second-most educated town in the country, has decided to overrule the CDC and keep an outdoor mask mandate in place: https://t.co/CpXKDCCbKW— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) May 3, 2021
I'll leave you with a think piece about left-wing tribalism demanding unscientific and unnecessary restrictions, followed by a disheartening chart illustrating the consequences of the foolish J&J 'pause,' which needlessly crushed confidence in an extremely safe and highly effective vaccine:
“Among progressive political leaders around here, there’s a lot of talk around: We’re not going back to normal, because normal wasn’t good enough.” https://t.co/u4GH0AztP6— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) May 4, 2021
"Those 'The pause will actually increase trust in the vaccine' takes look really bad at this point, a Twitter friend notes, correctly.