President Biden's New Mask Mandate Leaves Many Unanswered Questions Featured

The new Presidential Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing has been issued.

Big Idea

  • Anyone in Federal buildings or on Federal land is required to mask up
  • Enforcement is not detailed
  • No end in sight - no mention of 100 days
  • Read more...  

President Biden really wants you to mask up

  If you weren’t masking up before, you will now - at least on Federal property and Federal lands. But the newly minted Executive Order requiring mask-wearing leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

Here’s the mandate:

"Accordingly, to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce, and to ensure the continuity of Government services and activities, on-duty or on-site Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”

You can read the entire Executive Order here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-protecting-the-federal-workforce-and-requiring-mask-wearing/

What the Mandate does not detail

Here is what is NOT in the Executive Mandate:
A. Enforcement measures
B. Any mention of 100 days

In other words, what happens if you’re out in the middle of the forest and not wearing a mask and you get caught? Are you fined? Tossed in jail? Re-educated?

What if you’re in your vehicle and driving on federal property? Do you have to wear the mask then?

If you’re in a hotel on federal property, do you have to wear a mask in your room, even if you’re by yourself?

In Section 3a, it says, "The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), including through the Director of CDC, shall engage, as appropriate, with State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials, as well as business, union, academic, and other community leaders, regarding mask-wearing and other public health measures, with the goal of maximizing public compliance with, and addressing any obstacles to, mask-wearing and other public health best practices identified by CDC.”

Does this mean that the Federal government, through HHS, is going to pressure state governors to institute mask mandates? 

And not just the states - here’s the list:

  • State
  • Local
  • Tribal
  • Territorial officials
  • Business
  • Union
  • Academic 
  • Community leaders

What happens if any or all of them say, “No”?

Section 3b says that the COVID-19 Response Coordinator… "Shall promptly identify and inform agencies of options to incentivize, support and encourage widespread mask-wearing consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law.”

Are there options? What incentives are they offering?

Be prepared to be bombarded with mask requirements, even more than you are now.

100 Days

Before President Biden took office, the headlines were that he was going to ask for 100 days of masking. AP News quotes Biden as saying, "On the first day I’m inaugurated, I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask — not forever, just 100 days.”

This new mandate has no end date in sight. None. 100 days? No mention of that. 

Friday, April 30, 2021, will mark the first 100 days of the Biden administration. Let’s just see if the mask mandate is lifted on that day.

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Last modified on Thursday, 21 January 2021 11:00
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Editor and Publisher of CopperState News. In her past life, she was the founder of a successful local news media publication in the Prescott area. She started CopperState News with the idea that local news deserves a statewide platform.

Besides prowling around for community news - especially good news! - Lynne and her husband Lewis enjoy their eight children and six grandchildren (although more are always welcome!). Lynne is connected non-stop to her camera and loves creating unique gifts with her Cricut!

One of her favorite sayings is, "It's not about me!"


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