Covid News: Biden suggests ending mask mandates ‘premature’

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credit…TJ Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

President Biden responded to US frustration with the pandemic restrictions, saying it was still too early to end measures such as mandates for domestic masks, while suggesting that other restrictions may soon be able to expire.

In the nearly 22-minute interview, some of which were previewed before Sunday, Biden said a string of state governors announced last week that they He will begin to raise the states of the inner mask It was “probably premature”, but acknowledged that making this decision was a “difficult call”.

Most authorizations will not expire immediately, although some like Nevadaended immediately. New York A strict internal mask mandate that requires companies to require customers to prove complete vaccination or to order a mask to wear expired Thursday.

a New CBS poll I found that the majority of Americans still support mask mandates, including in schools, but that Many of them are tired and frustrated A pandemic crushes its third year. In schools, public health experts agree that mask requirements shouldn’t last forever, But they disagree on whether it is time to remove them.

Mr. Biden suggested that high rates of childhood vaccination, as well as a possible permission Vaccines Even for younger children, it can allow schools to end their mask mandates.

“Every day that goes by, children are more protected,” Mr. Biden said, adding that “the more protection they have, the more likely you will see fewer and fewer requirements to have masks.”

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Cases in the United States are rapidly declining, dropping to about 174,000 per day, by two-thirds over a two-week period, according to the New York Times database. But hospitalizations, at about 95,000, and deaths, at more than 2,400 per day, are still very high.

As governors lift the rules, officials in some cities, counties and school districts have indicated they will keep their own states in place, adding new complications to an already confusing set of rules across the country.

In New Jersey, Governor Philip de Murphy announced that school staff and students will do so No need to wear masks Beginning of the second week of March. NJ.com She mentioned that the Camden City School District will still need masks. District Superintendent Katrina McCombs told the outlet that while it was encouraging to see case numbers decline in the state, school officials still “want to make sure our young people remain safe while we are in our care.”

Mayors Boston And New Haven, Connecticut.He also said masks will still be required in schools after their states expire at the end of February.

The division has been particularly stark in California, which is set to end its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people in most public places this month, but where counties are allowed to maintain their strictest measures. Health officials in some counties, including Marin, Orange, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego, have pledged to lift strict local rules when the state does so. Other counties — including Los Angeles and Santa Clara — said they won’t ease restrictions until vaccination, transmission and infection rates improve.

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Lester Holt, who hosted the NBC interview with Biden, noted that many people in this year’s Super Bowl audience will not be wearing masks, in violation of Local law in Englewood, California.

“I like the way people talk about personal freedom,” Biden said in response. “If your exercise of your personal liberty endangers another person, or endangers his or her health, I do not consider this to be a mere dealing with liberty.”

However, Mr. Biden acknowledged that the measures taken to combat the virus have their own costs.

Biden did not address Americans who refuse to wear masks directly, instead appealing to non-vaccinators: “People should get the injections. We know the shots work. We know they work with the variables we’re dealing with now.”

He added, “And I think they should be careful, and if they’re not taking care of themselves, at least think of their children. Think of – you know, their families.”

Isha RayAnd Eduardo Medina And Katie Thomas Contributed.

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