In a video of a speech President Joe Biden gave on Monday in New Jersey, he is seen briefly coughing into his right hand at the end of the speech, and then greeting officials including Gov. Phil Murphy with the same hand, and without a mask.
Biden went to the Garden State to tout both his $1.2 trillion infrastructure and $3.5 trillion ''Build Back Better'' budget reconciliation bills, as well as stump a little for Murphy, a fellow Democrat who is seeking reelection Nov. 2 against his Republican challenger, former state legislator Jack Ciattarelli, for one of the most powerful governorships in the nation.
Ending his speech, an unmasked Biden quickly coughs into his right hand, then leaves the lectern with his Secret Service detail to greet the officials in the front row, getting to a masked Murphy fourth, with a handshake using his right hand, and grabbing the governor’s arm with his left hand, the video posted on Twitter by ''Breaking911'' shows.
While COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allow coughing into your hand, elbow or mask to avoid spreading the virus to others at small, indoor gatherings, the agency says people should then wash their hands with soap or use sanitizer before engaging with others or touching their own face.
''If you are wearing a mask: You can cough or sneeze into your mask. Put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands,'' the CDC guidance said on the agency’s website. ''If you are not wearing a mask: always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
''Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.''
It’s not the first time Biden has been caught going against CDC COVID guidance.
The president and first lady Jill Biden were caught on video dining at the Washington restaurant Fiola Mare on Oct. 16 without masks while flanked by their masked Seret Service detail.
One patron at the restaurant took a video of the couple, and another took a photo of the outing, both of which were posted on Twitter.
The CDC advises everyone, included vaccinated people, to continue wearing masks while inside businesses to prevent the spread of the disease.
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