White House ‘inadvertently’ tells unvaccinated to mask up and social distance against


White House tells non-Covid vaccinated college athletes to mask up and social distance during White House event – despite declaring pandemic no longer a global health emergency in May

The White House said it ‘inadvertently’ sent out guidance requiring unvaccinated guests to wear Covid face coverings and practice social distancing during Monday’s College Athlete Day.

This is despite the official ending of the national emergency declaration for the pandemic over a month ago.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden invited dozens of National Collegiate Athletics Association men’s and women’s national championship teams to celebrate their achievements.

An email to members of Congress asking them to the event said unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask ‘at all times’ and stay six feet apart.

The World Health Organization declared Covid was no longer a public health emergency on May 5, and the final pandemic restrictions in the US ended on May 11.

Vice President Kamala Harris hosts the women's and men's National Collegiate Athletics Association Champion teams from the 2022-2023 season during College Athlete Day on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, June 12, 2023

Vice President Kamala Harris hosts the women’s and men’s National Collegiate Athletics Association Champion teams from the 2022-2023 season during College Athlete Day on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, June 12, 2023

Biden, however, missed Monday’s event due to tooth pain and is undergoing a root canal, it was revealed Monday afternoon.

Vice President Kamala Harris had to step in for Biden at an event for NCAA college athletes on the South Lawn.

The Biden administration created College Athlete Day ‘to recognize NCAA national champions from the past year,’ according to NCAA.

Athletes from all three NCAA divisions were celebrated in the White House starting at 11:30am ET.

A live stream of the event did not show any guests wearing masks, but the communication stated that these individuals would need social distance. 

According to Fox News, the email invitation sent out by the White House Office of Legislative Affairs to members of Congress requesting their attendance said:

Vice President Kamala Harris had to step in for Biden at an event for NCAA college athletes on the South Lawn

Vice President Kamala Harris had to step in for Biden at an event for NCAA college athletes on the South Lawn

‘Masking guidance: Fully vaccinated guests are not required to wear a mask on the White House grounds.

‘Guests who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask at all times and maintain at least six feet distance from others while on the White House grounds.’

The White House told Fox News that the Covid-related guidance in the email was out of date and mistakenly included.

It is unclear whether recipients of the original message received follow-up communications clarifying that the guidance was out of date.

It comes as more and more hospitals and other healthcare facilities are ditching their masking rules.

Experts have long been questioning the efficacy of masks as a Covid preventative measure.

Research carried out by the Cochrane Institute, the ‘gold standard’ of evidence-based reviews, looked at 78 global studies involving over a million people.

Results indicated that surgical masks reduced the risk of catching ‘Covid or a flu-like illness’ by just five percent – a figure so low it may not be statistically significant.

The researchers said harms caused by masks – including hampering children’s schooling – were poorly measured in the studies, meaning any small benefit on infection rates may be outweighed.

Professor Francois Balloux, a professor of computational biology at University College London, who was not part of the analysis, said it showed that the benefit of wearing masks is ‘at best small’.

States began lifting their mask mandates in February 2022.

On May 5,  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the UN health agency, said: ‘It’s with great hope that I declare COVID over as a global health emergency.’



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