With masks out and hugs in, life's back to normal at White House
The Lead

With masks out and hugs in, life’s back to normal at White House

With masks out and hugs in, life's back to normal at White House

New Delhi:  Life, as we know it, is getting back on track in the US.

At White House, a smiling crowd without masks, a welcome with handshakes, and hugs, were a sight.  A 94-year-old Medal of Honor recipient received a joyous hug from Vice President Kamala Harris.

 

Thanks to growing availability of the coronavirus vaccine and a recent relaxation of federal guidance on masks and distancing, the Biden administration is embracing the look and feel of pre-pandemic days on Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

More West Wing staffers are turning up there for work and more reporters will be doing so as well, as the White House spreads the message that a return to normal is possible with vaccinations.

Lingering concerns about safety

While life seems to get back to normal, there are still some concerns about safety. Contradictions and confusions that are popping up across a nation that is gingerly re-opening.

“We’re back,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared at Friday’s daily briefing. “I can confirm we’re a warm and fuzzy crew and we like to hug around here.”

President Joe Biden had been happy to announce the relaxed mask guidance when he appeared in the Rose Garden on May 13 without a mask, just hours after the CDC said those who are fully vaccinated don’t need to wear masks in most settings.

 

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With masks out and hugs in, life's back to normal at White House