White House press secretary Jen Psaki brushed off a question Monday about President Biden being filmed without a mask inside a Washington, D.C., restaurant, saying people should pay attention to the president’s policies and “not overly focus on moments in time.”
During her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy to address a video showing Biden and first lady Jill Biden walking through a high-end Georgetown restaurant without masks on Saturday, violating Washington, D.C.’s indoor mask mandate.
“There is a mask requirement inside D.C. restaurants,” Doocy said, “yet President Biden and the first lady were not wearing masks while walking around a D.C. restaurant on Saturday. Why?”
Psaki responded by incorrectly claiming the controversy centered around a photo, not a video, and she said the Bidens were walking out of the restaurant, not through it.
“Well, I think what we are referring to is a photo of them walking out of a restaurant after they had eaten, masks in hand, where they had not had put them back on yet,” Psaki said.
“So I would say, of course, there are moments when we all don’t put masks back on as quickly as we should,” she continued. “But I don’t think we should lose the forest through the trees here in that our objective here is to get more people vaccinated, make sure that that schools and companies around the country can put in place requirements to save more lives and keep people safer and not overly focus on moments in time that don’t reflect overarching policy.”
Doocy pushed back, saying the Bidens were clearly filmed walking through the restaurant, indoors, without masks on, but Psaki refused to elaborate.
“There is a caveat for people under 2 or people who are actively eating or drinking,” Doocy said. “So I’m just curious why the president was doing this.”
“I think I just addressed it, Peter,” Psaki responded.
The president and first lady dined at Italian seafood restaurant Fiola Mare on the Potomac River after attending a service at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, according to The Daily Mail.
Washington, D.C.’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has also flouted her own mask rules, reinstated an indoor mask mandate in July amid the surge of the delta variant. The Bidens also violated Fiola Mare’s mask policy, which mirrors the city’s.
“Per CDC guidance and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s executive order, all individuals over age 2 are required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be always worn while in our restaurants, except while eating and drinking. Thank you for understanding,” the restaurant’s website says.
Hours after her indoor mask mandate went into effect in July, Bower was photographed without a mask during an indoor wedding reception.
Fox News’ Jon Brown contributed to this report.