President Joe Biden will start wearing a mask around other people despite having no COVID-19 symptoms and testing negative for the virus, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
Even though the president tested "negative last night for COVID-19," tested "negative again today," and is "not experiencing any symptoms," Jean-Pierre said, he will "be masking while indoors and around people, in alignment with CDC guidance."
Biden will start wearing the mask because his wife, Jill Biden, on Monday tested positive for the virus. The first lady is "experiencing only mild symptoms," according to the White House.
The news comes as colleges, hospitals, and companies across the country have begun reinstating mask mandates. MSNBC contributor and former Obama administration official Kavita Patel said last month that "a mask can be your best friend" and that it's "time to bring them out again." Patel admitted that the COVID spike is not "anywhere near" levels in previous years.
CNN, the New York Times, and Reuters, meanwhile, have all stoked fears about a spike, with the Times declaring that "experts say" we should start "turning back to masks."
A study earlier this year found that mask-wearing "probably makes little or no difference" on preventing the spread of COVID-19, leading to pushback from former White House chief medical adviser and masking advocate Anthony Fauci.