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CNN's Jake Tapper questions why Biden is still wearing a mask outside even after a change in CDC guidelines

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/2/2021 sankel@businessinsider.com (Sophia Ankel)
Jake Tapper, Anita Dunn are posing for a picture: CNN host Jake Tapper and senior Biden advisor, Anita Dunn. CNN/YouTube © CNN/YouTube CNN host Jake Tapper and senior Biden advisor, Anita Dunn. CNN/YouTube
  • CNN's Jake Tapper said Friday that Biden "doesn't seem to be following" the newest CDC guidelines.
  • Tapper asked Biden's senior advisor Anita Dunn why the president was still wearing a mask outdoors.
  • Dunn responded that "extra precautions" have to be taken for Biden because he is the president.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper questioned why President Joe Biden was still wearing a face covering outdoors despite a recent change in mask guidelines for fully-vaccinated people.

In an interview with Biden's senior advisor Anita Dunn on Friday, Tapper asked why the president "doesn't seem to be following" the latest guidelines, which were announced by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday.

The agency said that outdoor activities are now considered safe without face masks as long as people stay in their own household. They also said fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks in small groups. The new guidance only applies to those who've allowed their shot(s) two full weeks to take effect.

Biden, who is 78 years old, received the Pfizer vaccine in December last year.

Read more: Center for American Progress alumni are filling the Biden administration. Almost 100 days in, the roster is 60 and counting.


Video: Biden announces fully vaccinated people may unmask while outdoors (NBC News)

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"Should the president start following these guidelines and stop wearing a mask outdoors, stop wearing a mask indoors when with small groups of other vaccinated Americans, to show the American people there is a benefit to getting the vaccine, you can take the mask off?" Tapper asked Dunn, according to Mediaite.

The CNN host also made reference to a quote from former health commissioner of Baltimore, Dr. Leana Wen, who told the network on Friday that being "overly cautious" with face masks could actually discourage people from getting vaccinated.

"I think over-caution also has a price and that masks somehow become a performative act rather than a life-saving act when it's really needed, and also, it's really underselling the power of the vaccine," Wen said, according to Tapper.

Dunn said Biden "takes the CDC guidelines very seriously."

"We do take some extra precautions for him because he is the president of the United States," she said, according to Mediaite. "But I would say that people should follow the CDC guidelines and they should take advantage of getting the vaccine, getting fully vaccinated, and taking that mask off, particularly as the weather grows so beautiful and we all want to be outside."

This is the third time the CDC has adjusted its guidance for the fully vaccinated. In March, the CDC said it was acceptable for fully vaccinated people to gather indoors and hug without masks.

More than 243 million doses have already been administered to Americans so far. In the last week, an average of 2.55 million doses per day were administered, according to a Bloomberg vaccine tracker.

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