America unmasks: Joe and Kamala take all the credit as they finally announce it's time to ditch the masks, shake hands and even HUG each other if you've had your shots


President Joe Biden told Americans who have their full COVID vaccine to remove their face masks and his wife Jill, visiting West Virginia, did just that.

'If you're fully vaccinated, take your mask off. You've earned the right to do something that Americans are known for all around the world, greeting others with a smile,' President Biden said during remarks in the White House Rose Garden. 

And a maskless first lady was all smiles when she stepped off her plane in Charleston, W. Va., on Thursday, one of the first to appear in public without a face covering after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced their new guidelines. 


Actress Jennifer Garner greeted Dr. Biden. She had a face mask on but took hers off when she saw the situation. 

The mood was jovial with the maskless duo chatting excitingly on the tarmac. 

Back at the White House, President Biden took the credit for bringing the virus under control.

He said: 'I think it's a great milestone, a great day. It's been made possible by the extraordinary success we have had in vaccinating so many Americans, so quickly. 

'Over the past 114 days, our vaccination program has led the world and that's due to the incredible hard work of so many people.

'The scientists and researchers, the drug companies, the National Guard, the US Military, FEMA, the nation's governors, doctors, nurses, pharmacists. Everyone who has moved heaven and Earth to get as many shots into arms of as many Americans as possible. It's truly been an all hands on deck for the country effort.'

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden go without their face masks in the Rose Garden of the White House after new CDC guidelines were announced

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden go without their face masks in the Rose Garden of the White House after new CDC guidelines were announced

Actress Jennifer Garner greets first lady Jill Biden in Charleston, W.Va.; the two women followed new CDC guidelines and went maskless

Actress Jennifer Garner greets first lady Jill Biden in Charleston, W.Va.; the two women followed new CDC guidelines and went maskless

President Biden steps out of the Oval  Office without a face mask

President Biden steps out of the Oval  Office without a face mask

President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris beside him, asked those not fully vaccinated to continue to wear a face mask although he promised no mask police

President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris beside him, asked those not fully vaccinated to continue to wear a face mask although he promised no mask police

White House staff remove their face masks; from right: Communications Director Katherine Bedingfield, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, senior adviser Anita Dunn, Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients

White House staff remove their face masks; from right: Communications Director Katherine Bedingfield, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, senior adviser Anita Dunn, Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients


President Biden tempered his delight at the new rules with words of caution. 

'We've gotten this far. Please protect yourself until you get to the finish line. Because as great as this announcement is today. We don't want to let up,' he said.

'The rule is very simple. Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do is vaccinated,' he added.

He also noted there would be no enforcement, addressing concerns of some they may have to prove their vaccinated status. 


'We're not going to go out and arrest people,' Biden said. 'If you've been vaccinated you don't wear your mask, and they can shake hands and give each other a hug. But if you've not been vaccinated. Please wear a mask. Please wear the mask.'

On Thursday the CDC announced that most fully-vaccinated Americans can stop wearing their masks almost anywhere - indoors or outdoors.

The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but is meant to help get vaccinated Americans back to their normal lives.

The Biden administration faced pressure to ease up on restrictions as more than 108 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. It's also hoped the new guidelines will coax those reluctant to get their second dose or to get inoculated at all to get the vaccine. 

White House aides were in the Rose Garden maskless, including chief of staff Ron Klain, senior adviser Anita Dunn, and press secretary Jen Psaki. 

Other White House staff tweeted their excitement at being able to see colleagues without a face covering.

And Vice President Kamala Harris, standing out in the Rose Garden without a mask, greeted the president upon his arrival with: 'You've got a great smile.' 

Thursday started out like the past 15 months have gone. President Biden wore a face mask in the Oval Office when he met with Republican senators on infrastructure.

Jill Biden, dressed in a white dress with a pink blazer over it, wore a pink face mask mask when she departed Washington D.C. earlier in the day.

But she was happy to remove it.  

'We feel naked,' the first lady said about not wearing one. Then she paused. 'I didn't mean it that way!' 

She also joked she learned about the new rule during the flight - and after she had bought a mask that matched her outfit.

'We just learned as we got off the plane,' she said of new mask guidance. 'And here I had gone out to buy one that was coordinated with my outfit so you can't win.'


Actress Jennifer Garner (R) looks on as First Lady Jill Biden speaks with a student getting vaccinated at Capital High School in Charleston, West Virginia

Actress Jennifer Garner (R) looks on as First Lady Jill Biden speaks with a student getting vaccinated at Capital High School in Charleston, West Virginia

Senator Joe Manchin and his wife Gayle - in the back - joined Jill Biden for her trip to West Virginia as the White House woos Manchin for its legislative agenda

Senator Joe Manchin and his wife Gayle - in the back - joined Jill Biden for her trip to West Virginia as the White House woos Manchin for its legislative agenda 

Mark Shriver, the president of Save the Children Action Network; Jennifer Garner; Jill Biden; Gayle Manchin; and Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia

Mark Shriver, the president of Save the Children Action Network; Jennifer Garner; Jill Biden; Gayle Manchin; and Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia

Jill Biden wore a pink face mask when she left for West Virginia on Thursday morning

Jill Biden wore a pink face mask when she left for West Virginia on Thursday morning

President Biden started his day in a face mask, wearing one in a meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

President Biden started his day in a face mask, wearing one in a meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

First lady Jill Biden, right, arrives at a vaccination clinic, at Capital High School in Charleston, W.Va. Arriving with her are actress Jennifer Garner, center, along with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, left, and his wife, Gayle Manchin

First lady Jill Biden, right, arrives at a vaccination clinic, at Capital High School in Charleston, W.Va. Arriving with her are actress Jennifer Garner, center, along with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, left, and his wife, Gayle Manchin


But the first lady was gleeful about the chance to go maskless.

'Now, the clouds are finally breaking. Spring's more beautiful than ever. And the best is yet to come,' she said. 'Let's have some fun.'

Garner, meanwhile, revealed two of her three kids with actor Ben Affleck will get vaccinated on Friday. Children 12 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine, according to CDC guidelines. There are about 17 million children between the ages of 12 and 15 in the United States, which is about 5 percent of the population.

'I am thrilled to be vaccinating, two of my three kids on Tuesday,' she said. 'I don't even know if they know it yet.'

Garner, who had her parents with her, praised the Biden administration for being able to go maskless.

‘It's so exciting I kind of can't believe that I'm standing here without a mask on looking at maskless faces, and we owe that to President Biden,’ Garner said.

‘Biden said he would get us vaccinated. Boy, did he mean it,' she added.

Garner, a West Virginia native, served on the board of Save the Children with Dr. Jill Biden and campaigned for Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign. 

She and Biden spent several minutes talking animatedly at the airport - waving their hands at each other - before posing for a round of photos.  Two local students gave each woman a bouquet of flowers.

Mark Shriver, the president of Save the Children Action Network, an organization that provides resources to low-income families, also was at the airport. Jill Biden gave him an elbow bump.

Biden also was accompanied by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and his wife, Gayle as the White House woos the West Virginia senator on its legislative agenda.

The East Wing invited Manchin because it is his home state, and he accepted the invitation, according to Jill Biden spokesman Michael LaRosa. 

The group went to Capital High to visit a vaccination clinic for students age 12 - 15, where a group of junior ROTC officers greeted them upon their arrival.

'I know you just want to see Jennifer Garner,' Biden joked with them.

'They've seen me their whole lives!' 'Garner exclaimed. 'Thank you for your service, kids.'

At the vaccination clinic in the school gym, Biden held the hand of a teenager getting vaccinated, and then asked the girl if she knows Garner. 

'Yes I love all of your movies,' the girl said. Garner congratulated her on getting vaccinated, and spent several minutes talking with her. 

Manchin touted the new guidelines and what they mean for his state during the stop. 

'You've all seen the latest from the CDC? That means no masks inside or outside,' Manchin said.

He said 'it means get vaccinated. We feel free!'

Garner also teased Manchin about his moderate reputation in the Senate where he has voted with both Democrats and Republicans.

'We have a lot of work ahead to get everyone to get COVID crushed and to get our little kids in school ready to learn. I'm looking forward to working with Republicans, Democrats, and even Senator Manchin,'  she said. 'I'm teasing you. That's a little Manchin joke.'

And Jill Biden thanked him and his wife Gayle for their friendship to the Bidens.

'Senator Manchin, you know you've been a champion for West Virginia, and you've always found ways to bring people together, and your integrity and commitment to this state is steadfast. And Joe and I are so grateful to you and to Gayle for the friendship that we built over - I don't even know how many years it's been, but it's been a long time. So thank you very much,' she said. 

Manchin, a moderate senator, is a key vote for Democrats in the 50-50 Senate. President Joe Biden will need his support on his two massive legislative packages - his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan - with its focus on infrastructure - and his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan with its focus on social programs.

He told reporters in West Virginia that 'the president and I had a very very good meeting' at the White House on Monday. He said that the amount of the infrastructure package was not his main issue.

'We're gonna find out what the needs are,' he said.

First lady Jill Biden talks to a student who received her coronavirus vaccination Thursday

First lady Jill Biden talks to a student who received her coronavirus vaccination Thursday

Jennifer Garner said two of her three children were getting vaccinated on Tuesday

Jennifer Garner said two of her three children were getting vaccinated on Tuesday

Jill Biden celebrated being able to go maskless - 'let's have some fun,' she said

Jill Biden celebrated being able to go maskless - 'let's have some fun,' she said

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Communications Director Katherine Bedingfield laugh without protective face masks in the Rose Garden

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Communications Director Katherine Bedingfield laugh without protective face masks in the Rose Garden

President Biden exits the Oval Office to discuss new mask guidelines - without a face covering

President Biden exits the Oval Office to discuss new mask guidelines - without a face covering

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden greet their staff after speaking on updated guidance on mask mandates, in the Rose Garden of the White House

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden greet their staff after speaking on updated guidance on mask mandates, in the Rose Garden of the White House

America unmasks: Joe and Kamala take all the credit as they finally announce it's time to ditch the masks, shake hands and even HUG each other if you've had your shots America unmasks: Joe and Kamala take all the credit as they finally announce it's time to ditch the masks, shake hands and even HUG each other if you've had your shots Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:10 Rating: 5

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