THE NEW YORK TIMES – President Biden responded to American frustration with pandemic restrictions, saying that it was still too soon to lift indoor mask mandates, while suggesting that other restrictions may soon be able to end.
In the roughly 22-minute interview, some of which was previewed before Sunday, Mr. Biden said that decisions by some state governors last week to begin lifting indoor mask mandates were “probably premature,” but acknowledged that it was a “tough call.”
Most mandates will not expire immediately, though some, like Nevada’s, did. New York’s requirement that businesses ask customers for proof of vaccination or require mask wearing expired on Thursday.
A CBS poll taken last week found that a majority of Americans still support mask mandates, including in schools, but that many are exhausted and frustrated by the pandemic.
Public health experts agree that mask requirements in schools should not last forever, but some experts say that lifting school mask mandates too early could jeopardize the progress made over the last few weeks as cases declined.
Mr. Biden said that rising rates of childhood vaccination, as well as the potential authorization of vaccines for even younger children, could allow schools to end their own mask mandates.
“Every day that goes by, children are more protected,” Mr. Biden said, adding that “the more protection they have, probably you’re going to see less and less requirement to have the masks.”
Follow the changing rules and recommendations on wearing masks, as well as guidance for masks in schools.
U.S. cases are falling fast, down to about 175,000 daily, a nearly two-thirds drop over two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
But hospitalizations, at about 95,000, and deaths, at more than 2,400 daily, remain very high … READ MORE.