- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2022

The White House said Monday it will drop its mask mandate for vaccinated persons who visit or work at the complex, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance, placing the Washington area in a low-risk category.

Unvaccinated persons must still wear masks and test negative before entering the White House grounds, and the reporter “pool” that gets closest to the president each day must still get tested.

The move comes one day after the attending physician at the Capitol said masks would be optional in the halls of Congress, though other virus-control measures will remain in place.

Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue cited the change in CDC guidance, which places counties in one of three tiers — low, medium and high risk — based on the number of hospitalized patients, hospital capacity and the level of transmission.

About seven in 10 Americans live in areas where the CDC no longer recommends universal masking.

Some Republicans found the timing suspicious, however, since it came right before Mr. Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress, during which he will tout progress in fixing the economy and fighting the virus.

Officials were still wearing masks at the White House on Monday. The White House said First lady Jill Biden wore a mask at a Black History Month event with a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine, to show support for the Ukrainian people as they battle an invading Russian army.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide