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Biden to Tout Manufacturing in Pennsylvania as New Mask Rules Draw Spotlight

  • July 28, 2021

“This is all part of an effort to lift up and talk about his buy-American agenda as well as the infrastructure package,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday in a preview of his trip.

But Mr. Biden’s efforts to promote the economy and his infrastructure plan may yield the spotlight to the concerning new data about the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, and the possibility of variants to come. Anxiety about the pandemic has begun to rise again, and Mr. Biden announced on Tuesday that, later in the week, he would lay out the administration’s “next steps” in getting more Americans vaccinated.

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House also instructed its staff to mask up again, in order to comply with new C.D.C. guidance. The return to masking in the West Wing came just over two months after Mr. Biden and senior officials shed their face masks, in the biggest sign of a triumphant return toward normalcy since he took office.

Mr. Biden’s trip to Pennsylvania was to be his first outing since the new guidelines were introduced late Tuesday, and he was expected to travel while wearing a mask, an image reminiscent of the early days of his presidency, when the coronavirus was raging.

Officials tried to play down the whiplash Americans might feel after being told that despite previous guidance, they should keep masks on indoors, even if they are fully vaccinated.

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