Press secretary Jen Psaki says the White House is lifting the mask mandate for vaccinated people on Tuesday, the same day President Biden is scheduled to give his first State of the Union address.

“Effective tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, we are lifting the requirement that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks on the White House campus,” a memo to White House staff reads, according to the New York Times.

“Some individuals will choose to continue to wear masks to protect themselves. We must respect these choices,” it adds.

Huh, imagine that – being given a choice.

Psaki insists the timing is simply a coincidence.

“It had nothing to do with the timing around the State of the Union,” she told reporters.

The announcement comes just a few days after the Capitol – site of the State of the Union – dropped their mask mandate.

Psaki says that the last minute change of congressional mask rules “had nothing to do around the timing of the State of the Union” address.

— (@townhallcom) February 28, 2022

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White House Ditches Mask Mandate Because of the ‘Science’

The White House announcement ditching the mask mandate comes just weeks after Brian Stryker, a partner at Impact Research, a Democratic polling firm, notes that even their party’s voters want to move on from pandemic restrictions.

“Democratic voters have run out of empathy for unvaccinated people dying of COVID,” said Stryker. “They are ready to live their lives.”

An ABC News report reveals that Stryker believes Democrats need to stop talking about the pandemic and move forward.

“If Democrats can stop talking about COVID every day, treat it like the long-term problem it is and start talking about more immediate concerns of voters, the better they will do in the midterms,” he said.

ABC notes that several Democrat governors have dropped mask mandates and have privately urged the White House to provide Americans with a light at the end of the COVID tunnel “in Biden’s upcoming national address.”

In a separate report, ABC notes that “…Congress is lifting its mask requirement on the House floor after federal regulators eased guidelines last week in a rethinking of the nation’s strategy to adapt to living with a more manageable COVID-19.”

But announcing the end to the mask mandate on the same day as that address is totally coincidental, according to the White House.

#SOTU: The Washington DC indoor mask mandate will expire tonight, and they will be optional at the State of the Union tomorrow. Jen Psaki says the timing is coincidental, as the President doesn’t have the power to make DC a “green zone” for mask wearing.

— Forbes (@Forbes) February 28, 2022

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Midterm Troubles

As for living with COVID, a new Axios/Ipsos poll shows two-thirds of Americans do not believe it’s possible for the U.S. to eradicate the coronavirus within the next year.

This narrative shift comes amid tanking polling numbers for the President, studies strongly suggesting lockdowns didn’t work, and a looming red wave in the 2022 midterms.

A cynic might say that that’s the real motivation behind the shift. 

The White House has dropped its mask mandate right before Joe Biden’s State of the Union.

If you didn’t think Democrats politicized COVID before, do you now?

— Jackson Lahmeyer (@JacksonLahmeyer) March 1, 2022

Stryker’s poll warnings have prompted Democrats’ concerns in the past. His firm late last year found the party was experiencing numerous issues with messaging and branding.

He warned Democrats that “we have a problem” heading into the midterms.

Being the party of COVID lockdowns and masked children likely doesn’t help. That’s why the President will be making his State of the Union address in a room full of people not wearing masks, or at least having the choice whether or not to do so.