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Psaki Downplays Biden Violating D.C. Mask Mandate While Indoors: ‘There Are Moments When We All Don’t Put Masks Back On As Quickly As We Should’

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on October 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. Later today U.S. President Joe Biden will go to Capitol Hill to attend a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki downplayed a video from over the weekend that showed President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden violating a mask mandate in Washington, D.C., by saying that everyone has “moments” when they don’t put their masks back on as quickly as they should.

Video showed the Bidens walking maskless through Fiola Mare, an Italian restaurant in Georgetown, while Secret Service agents around them were wearing masks.

Washington, D.C.’s, mask mandate states that “everyone (including fully vaccinated people) must wear masks in indoor public settings,” including “restaurants and bars (when not eating or drinking).”

The restaurant’s website states that masks must be worn at all times in the restaurant in accordance with the policy in Washington, D.C.:

Per CDC guidance and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s executive order, all individuals over age 2 are required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be always worn while in our restaurants, except while eating and drinking. Thank you for understanding.

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked why the Bidens were not wearing masks, to which Psaki responded, “Well, I think what you’re referring to is a photo of them walking out of a restaurant after they, they had eaten, masks in hand where they had not yet put them back on yet.”

“So I would say, of course, there are moments when we all don’t put masks back on as quickly as we should,” Psaki said. “But I don’t think we should lose, miss, lose the forest through the trees here and that our objective here is to get more people vaccinated. Make sure that schools and companies around the country can put in place requirements to save more lives and keep people safer, and you know, not overly focused on moments in time that don’t reflect overarching policy.”

“It was not just exiting the restaurant, though,” Doocy responded. “He was walking through the restaurant with no mask on, there is a carve-out for people under two or people who are actively eating or drinking. So I’m just curious why President was doing this.”

“I think I just addressed it, Peter,” Psaki answered.

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS REPORTER: There is a mask requirement inside D.C. restaurants, yet President Biden and the First Lady were not wearing masks while walking around a D.C. restaurant on Saturday. Why?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think what you’re referring to is a photo of them walking out of a restaurant after they, they had eaten, masks in hand where they had not yet put them back on yet. So I would say, of course, there are moments when we all don’t put masks back on as quickly as we should. But I don’t think we should lose, miss, lose the forest through the trees here and that our objective here is to get more people vaccinated. Make sure that schools and companies around the country can put in place requirements to save more lives and keep people safer, and you know, not overly focused on moments in time that don’t reflect overarching policy.

DOOCY: It was not just exiting the restaurant, though. He was walking through the restaurant with no mask on, there is a carve out for people under two or people who are actively eating or drinking. So I’m just curious why President was doing this.

PSAKI: I think I just addressed it, Peter.

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