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Brit Hume criticizes Biden for sending the wrong message on masked-up international Zoom call

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Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume suggested Monday that President Joe Biden’s use of a mask at times during a Zoom video conference last week with world leaders sent the wrong signal about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

Hume was responding to reports that Biden was the only one out of 40 participants in the Zoom call to mask up, leading White House press secretary Jen Psaki to explain later that the president was simply “sending a message to the world that he is putting in place precautions and continuing to do that as leader of the United States.”

But Hume suggested that Biden’s actions actually sent a detrimental message.

“You have to wonder what the message is. People are told that the vaccine is effective even against these variants they discovered, so if the president has been fully vaccinated and has his shots as he has had for some time and he believes that it is effective, what in the world is he doing sitting all by himself wearing a mask?” Hume told “Special Report” host Bret Baier.

(Video: Fox News)

Hume speculated that by wearing a mask, Biden could actually cause more Americans to become hesitant to get a vaccine, which runs afoul of the administration’s guidance and recommendation.

“I think [Biden] thinks it’s setting an example, but it could be getting people to think that he and other officials don’t believe that the vaccine works — or they would not be doing that,” he said.

“As you know, he was the only one wearing one. You have to wonder what they think is the message,” Hume added.

As BizPac Review reported Saturday, official State Department photos show that, at least at times, Biden engaged with the foreign leaders mask-free.

In a subsequent fact-check, Snopes rated the claim that Biden was the only world leader wearing a mask as “false” and “misleading” in part because a widely circulated photo of the event only showed 17 of the 39 other world leaders who participated in the virtual event.

And again, official State Department photos appear to tell a different story.

Biden was joined by so-called “Climate Czar” John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese; in some photos, they are masked while in others, only some attendees are masked.

Still, as Hume suggested, the perception is that a masked Biden indicates to many Americans a hesitancy to trust the vaccines and, as such, will lead to fewer Americans getting them.

Hume also noted that additional actions being taken by elected Democrats feed that narrative. He cited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s imposition of a capacity limit in the chamber as well as a mask mandate for Biden’s first joint address to Congress on Wednesday.

“If they are all vaccinated in a big room like the House chamber wherever they will have it, it seems to me that if everybody has a mask off it would be that the vaccine is working, we believe thus we are not wearing a mask, you are not supposed to need one if you are invulnerable because the vaccine,” said Hume, adding: “I think it would be great to see that message, but I’m afraid it won’t happen.”

Jon Dougherty

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