JOE Biden clashed with Fox News journalist Peter Doocy after the reporter reminded the president that he once said Americans don’t need to wear a mask if they are fully vaccinated.
The heated exchange came just days after boffins at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated people will need to wear face coverings in parts of the US due to rising Covid cases.
Biden and reporter Peter Doocy clashed over the wearing of face masksCredit: Fox News
The president was clearly frustrated by the clashCredit: Fox News
Journalist Doocy reminded Biden that he said: “If you are fully vaccinated you no longer need to wear a mask.”
The president hit back: “No I didn’t say that. I said if you’re fully vaccinated in an area where you do not have – well let me clarify that.”
Doocy told Biden: “In May, you made it sound like a vaccine was the ticket to losing the masks forever.”
The Democrat, who was flustered by this point, snapped: “That was true at the time.”
The president added: “A new variant came along, they didn’t get vaccinated, it was spread more rapidly and more people were getting sick. That’s the difference.”
Reporters continued to shout questions as Biden, who was not wearing a mask, left the East Room.
The clash came as the president told federal workers they must get vaccinated or face regular testing and mask-wearing.
States could even start offering checks worth up to $100 to encourage reluctant Americans to get jabbed.
The Treasury Department said the cash would provide an “extra incentive” to boost vaccine turnout.
Biden, who has been receiving flack for ignoring questions regarding mandatory vaccines in the military, made the announcement on Thursday while discussing the coronavirus at the White House.
He said: “I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks that have gotten vaccinated already.
“But here’s the deal: if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them. We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated.”
Nearly 70 percent of eligible adults in the US have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, but rates have dropped in recent weeks.
Regions such as the South and Midwest have seen Covid-19 cases rocket amid low vaccination turnout.
About four million people who are employed by the federal government are required to show proof of vaccination or wear masks and physically distance themselves from others in the workplace.
The reintroduction of the mask mandate comes as a leaked CDC slide appeared to suggest that vaccinated Americans may just be as contagious as the unvaccinated.
The health authority has changed course as the Delta variant rips through the country sending cases and hospitalization rates soaring.
Physician Robert Wachter wrote in an email to the Washington Post, who reviewed the unreleased slide: “I finished reading it significantly more concerned than when I began.”
It’s reported that the Delta variant potentially spreads as easily or perhaps faster than Ebola, chickenpox or even the common cold.
The CDC issued the new mask mandate on Tuesday as boffins encouraged Americans to take up the jab.
Dr Rochelle Walensky said Americans “in areas with substantial and high transmissions” should wear masks indoors – whether or not they are vaccinated.
She confirmed this includes when people are inside schools.
Back in May, they confirmed that people who had received both doses of the vaccine would not have to wear a mask or social distance.
However, even people who were fully jabbed had to continue planes and trains, at airports, on mass transit, and in medical environments like hospitals.
Americans have to mask up once again in light of rising Covid casesCredit: Reuters
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