MATTHEWS: Joe Biden undermines his CDC’s mask guidelines 

President Joe Biden holds up his face mask before he speaks in the State Dining Room, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

With the summer months signaling back-to-school season and the return of NFL games, it seems par for the course that we’re seeing an uptick in COVID-19 case numbers as more people come in close contact with each other. 

Though the rise in the number of people with the coronavirus is nowhere near as high as it has been in previous years, it’s still been enough to concern public health officials to the point we’re hearing more about masking and vaccines, and how you can help your fellow citizen out if you do your part. 

Schools in some parts of the country have already instituted either mask or vaccine mandates — or both — which has sparked a national conversation about whether that is the right thing to do, with some Republican members of Congress already pushing legislation that would effectively ban mask mandates. 

During all of this, we learned that First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for the virus on Labor Day but thankfully was said to be having “mild symptoms.” President Joe Biden reportedly tested negative. 

But in the two days after, President Biden had public events where he was seen not wearing a mask even though CDC guidelines advise people who have potentially been exposed to the virus to “wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public.” 

Further, they note that you should “take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.” 

Except Biden didn’t follow that guidance. 

On the Tuesday following Jill Biden’s positive test, a maskless Biden pinned the Medal of Honor on its 81-year-old recipient, Army Cpt. Larry Taylor, a Vietnam War veteran, while standing in close proximity. He was observed at some other points during the ceremony also not wearing a mask. 

The next day during a speech given in the East Room of the White House, a maskless Joe Biden strolled up to the lectern and first gave speech attendees an update on how he was doing. 

“Let me explain to the press — I’ve been tested again today. I’m clear across the board,” Biden stated, displaying the mask he was holding. “But they keep telling me because this has to be 10 days or something, I’ve got to keep wearing it. 

“But don’t tell them I didn’t have it on when I walked in.” 

Judging by the muted reaction of the crowd, few in the room found Biden’s remarks funny, perhaps because they remembered that Biden and members of his administration spent the first two years of his presidency mask-shaming people and telling them it was their “patriotic duty” to wear a mask and to get the coronavirus vaccine. 

Some of them may have even recalled that a few hours after Biden was sworn into office in January 2021, his first official act was to sign an executive order mandating mask-wearing on federal property. 

Several hours later, Biden and members of his family were seen celebrating at the Lincoln Memorial, with many of them, including Joe Biden himself, not wearing a mask. 

Joe Biden set the example right then and there that he didn’t believe that the rules he demanded and mandated others follow applied to him and his family. 

If we see stories galore come autumn and winter about how so many people are opting not to wear masks during cold, flu, and COVID season, we can look straight to top leaders in this country like Biden as reasons why. 

Because some people, understandably, are going to say to themselves that if the president of the United States doesn’t have to abide by his own guidelines, they shouldn’t either. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.