‘This is not politics,’ Biden calls for reinstating masks, pause in reopening


US President Joe Biden is calling on states not to lift their coronavirus restrictions including mask mandates.

The Democratic leader’s straightforward call for a pause in reopening the country is expected to cause backlash, mostly from Republicans.

“I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate,” Biden said Monday. “Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.

The president also said “yes,” in response to the question whether the states should yet reopen.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged earlier in the day that she was “scared” of a rise in the Covid-19 cases across the country.

“I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope. But right now I’m scared,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing Monday. “We do not have the luxury of inaction.”

Biden has previously dismissed states’ rush to reopen “Neanderthal thinking,” asserting that restriction should be maintained or reinstated.

The CDC director suggested that the rise in the number of cases in Europe has already begun and the US is about to follow the same trajectory.

The call for a pause in reopening came as 15 percent of the nation had been fully vaccinated, according to CDC official figures.

The number of cases reported in the US is above 30 million with nearly 550 thousand deaths to Covid-19 infection.

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