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Biden signs executive order on facemask mandate in federal properties

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 21, 2021 2:54 am

US President Joe Biden signed 15 executive orders and two executive actions as soon as he sat down at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, the highest number for a new president on his first day.

“I thought there’s no time to wait. Get to work immediately,” he told reporters.  

One of the executive orders he signed was a 100-day facemask mandate in all federal buildings and during interstate travel.

“It's requiring, as I said all along, where I have authority, mandating masks be worn, social distancing be kept on federal property,” Biden said.

Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, who didn’t want to wear a facemask (and made fun of people who did) or require his staff to do so, Biden wears a facemask in public.

The Biden administration is also re-strategizing the government’s approach to COVID-19, vaccine distribution, diagnostic testing, and the response to new and highly transmissible COVID variants, among others.

Biden is already filling several key positions at the Department of Health and Human Services and in the White House’s budget office.

He tweeted on his first day, “Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives. That's why I signed an executive order today issuing a mask mandate on federal property. It's time to mask up, America.”

A netizen asked, “Mr. President, I agree that wearing masks is common sense; I don’t understand why common sense needs to be mandated. With all due respect, sir.”

Another replied, “Have you met Americans?”

In the first few months of the pandemic, Trump downplayed COVID-19 and said it would magically disappear when warmer weather arrived. Trump supporters, including senators and representatives, were known to attend or organize protests against state-mandated mask-wearing and social distancing. They protested armed with guns and long rifles—and without facemasks.