President Biden delivered an address on the White House’s North Lawn Tuesday in which he discussed the relaxing of outdoor mask recommendations as a result of coronavirus vaccines, but the White House still refused to increase the number of reporters permitted to cover the speech.
Fox and other networks had sought permission for more correspondents to be present for Biden’s address, but the White House denied their requests, despite the CDC issuing the new guidance.
The CDC now says that people who have been vaccinated can safely assemble with others in small gatherings outdoors without masks, and that those who have not been vaccinated can do so with masks. Large gatherings are also now recommended with masks for those who have been vaccinated.
Earlier Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra defended the use of masks outdoors for vaccinated people. CBS anchor Gayle King had asked why masks are necessary for those who have received their shots.
“If you’re vaccinated, do you have to wear a mask outside or you don’t have to wear a mask outside?” she first asked.
“Well we weren’t born with masks, but we want to be safe and we want to protect our loved ones,” Becerra said. “So that’s why we wear masks, right? We put on our seat belt, we don’t expect that we’re going to crash our car, but we want to be safe.”
King then pressed him on the issue of why masks are needed for those who have had their shots.
“Why do we have to do that if we’re vaccinated?” she said. “That’s why I’m so confused.”
Becerra’s response: “You never know, and what you’re trying to do is encourage others.”
Fox News’ Mark Meredith contributed to this report.