Joe Biden questioned Republican congressman Chip Roy’s patriotism for profanely dismissing the president’s call to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“He used a very colorful term to say, ‘Wearing a mask, tell them to kiss my ear, I’m not going to wear a mask.’ Well, guess what? Not very American,” Biden said Tuesday at the White House. “The fact is, you want to be patriotic, you’re going to protect people.”
Roy, who represents a district in Texas, defended the comment to RealClearPolitics, saying it was “not my most Christian statement but it’s very American.”
Roy tweeted his comment about masks last month in response to Biden’s plan to require masks on federal property and during interstate travel.
Biden has been pressing Americans to wear masks, at least during his first 100 days in office, as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 424,000 Americans.
Biden zeroed in on the lawmaker’s comment as he announced on Tuesday that his administration intends to order 100 million more doses each of Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.’s coronavirus vaccines, and at least temporarily speed up shipments to states to about 10 million doses a week.
On Wednesday, the Biden White House’s COVID-19 Response Team, along with public health officials, will hold its first briefing.