President Biden Spotted Shopping Indoors Without A Mask On

President Joe Biden was caught on camera shopping inside Murray’s Toggery Shop on Main Street without a mask covering his face just prior to attending the 5 p.m. mass at St. Mary Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church Saturday evening. Nantucket’s indoor mask order was reinstated by the island’s Board of Health on Nov. 18, and Murray’s features a large sign on its front door indicating masks are required. Biden, who has been a strong proponent of face coverings, especially indoors, was ripped by some national media outlets for the apparent hypocrisy.

“We have to remind all sorts of people to wear their mask or put it back up,” said Murray’s owner Lauren Murray Soverino. “The video with the mask up sign right in view on the door is something even the best stagers couldn’t plan.”

President Biden with his mask down inside Murray’s Toggery Shop.

Biden was seen walking into the shop drinking a frappe, and it appears he is doing more socializing than sipping in the 23 second video clip that shows him inside the iconic island store with his mask lowered below his chin. Watch the video by clicking here.

The president seemed to be conscious of the island’s indoor mask order in other instances when he was out in public, and was spotted wearing his mask inside several island shops, including at TownPool and while dining inside the Tap Room at the Jared Coffin House. But the video of him without a mask covering his face inside Murray’s has made headlines.

Soverino said another customer had asked Biden what flavored frappe he was drinking while he was taking a sip of his drink inside the store. “I know it’s something he’s been criticized for before, and also something fellow business owners would say is a hurdle of responsibility in general,” Soverino said. “We’re all just doing the best we can and are very grateful for the business, especially on Small Business Saturday.”

The island reinstated its mask mandate on November 18 after the latest wastewater sampling report indicated an increased prevalence of the virus in island sewage. It put the island above the 50th percentile threshold compared to other communities that conduct similar wastewater samplings. The test results automatically triggered a mandatory mask mandate for at least two weeks, an order that will be re-evaluated on Thursday, December 2, just before Christmas Stroll weekend.

The footage also came to light just one day after Biden instituted travel restrictions to eight countries, including South Africa, amidst concern over the new Omicron Covid-19 variant and its ability to quickly spread from person to person. The decision restricted the travel of people physically present in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. The order does not apply to certain individuals, including U.S. citizens. You can read the full order by clicking here. Those restrictions went into effect Sunday.

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