House Mask Requirement Dropped Ahead Of Biden’s State Of The Union Address
President Joe Biden delivers his address to the joint session of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Caroline Brehman – Pool/Getty Images

Mask wearing will now be optional for those attending President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, according to a Sunday notice to lawmakers from the Capitol’s physician.

Capitol physician Brian P. Monahan shared in a message to Congress members that KN95 or N95 masks are no longer required, making mask wearing a personal choice, according to Axios.

“The Washington DC region is now in the ‘green level’ or low level in this new CDC schema allowing for reduction in coronavirus prevention measures such as coronavirus testing frequency and indoor mask wear,” Monahan said.

“COVID19 layered protection measures such as vaccination emphasis, and daily home health screening inventory prior to coming to work should continue,” he added.

The change comes following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Friday that stated most Americans were no longer recommended to wear a mask indoors.

None of us knows what the future may hold for us and for this virus,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Friday. “We need to be prepared and ready for whatever comes next. We want to give people a break from things like mask-wearing, when levels are low, and then have the ability to reach for them again, should things get worse in the future.”

The update now bases indoor mask recommendations on COVID-19 positive case levels in a person’s local area.

“CDC’s new COVID-19 Community Level tool classifies every county in the US into low, medium, or high, with recommended prevention measures for each level,” the CDC stated.

In addition to updates regarding masks, security has been increased ahead of Biden’s Tuesday address.

The fence that surrounded the Capitol after the January 6 riot is back up as fears of a freedom convoy similar to the recent protests in Canada have led Capitol Police to reinstall the fencing, according to a Fox News report:

Security officials will reinstall fencing around the Capitol next week ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address, Fox News can confirm.

U.S. Capitol Police are bracing for a potential “Freedom Convoy” truck protest to Washington D.C. for the March 1 speech. “Freedom Convoy” truckers have been protesting in Canada for weeks against coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates and caused a temporary blockade of the busy Ambassador Bridge border crossing between Windsor and Detroit. 

Capitol Police say they are “aware” of similar protests coming to Washington D.C. and are making plans to both “facilitate” First Amendment protest activity while working with law enforcement agencies and the D.C. National Guard to prepare for Biden’s address. 

In addition, National Guard members will be on-site for security at the event. The Daily Wire previously reported:

According to the National Guard Bureau, Austin approved requests for roughly 400 members of the D.C. National Guard and 300 members from outside of the District of Columbia; the Bureau said none of their members will carry firearms “or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities,” ABC News reported, adding, “Officers from Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department will increase patrols on Feb. 22 through March 5, shortly after the State of the Union, according to an internal MPD message obtained by ABC News. The department will also have two rapid response teams ready.”

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