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Joe Biden speaks at the National Institutes of Health on Friday, February 12.YouTube

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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – President Joe Biden, in a speech to the staff at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested that Americans will be wearing face masks for the next year and not the 100 days for which he initially requested.

This announcement is a stark departure from Biden’s original plan to have Americans wear masks for 100 days.

Before taking office, Biden told the public: “The first day I'm inaugurated to say I'm going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days.”

The president promised to mandate wearing “a mask wherever possible … as the new president, I’m going to speak directly to the American people and say what I’m saying now: We need your help. Wear a mask for just 100 days.”

“It’s the easiest thing you can do to reduce COVID cases, hospitalizations, and death.”

At the time, Biden went so far as to equate mask-wearing to being a symbol of patriotic duty, stating that a mask is an apolitical action: “100 days to make a difference. It’s not a political statement, it’s a patriotic act.”

Biden reiterated the notion of mask-patriotism in his speech to the NIH, in which he admitted, “I know it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s a patriotic responsibility.”

He went on to claim that “People are dying every minute from this pandemic,” and that “masking is still the easiest thing to do to save lives. We need everyone to mask up.”

Emphasizing what he sees as a grave duty, Biden said, “We’re in the middle of a war with this virus. It’s a patriotic responsibility!” 

“Not only if you care about your family, but if you care about your fellow Americans.”

In concert with vaccinations, Biden claimed that masking will play a significant role “to drive down the numbers (of deaths from COVID) considerably.”

To demonstrate the severity of the “pandemic,” Biden noted that “More people died in the last 12 months than died in all four years of World War II, all four years.”

But conservative estimates put the global fatality of World War II at somewhere between 50 million and 70 million deaths. The more liberal accounts of COVID-19 deaths to date, including those who died with COVID and not necessarily from the virus, estimate around 2.4 people million have died from COVID-19, about 1/20th of the lower end of estimated deaths in World War II.

Be that as it may, Biden yet announced, “That’s why I asked (for masks to be mandated) with the full extent of my authority as President of the United States. I signed an executive order that requires masking on all federal property, on modes of travel, like planes, trains, and buses across interstate commerce.”

“We need everyone to do their part, for themselves, for their loved ones, and, yes, for their country. Mask up America, mask up.”

Biden’s remarks about a year of masking came as the one-year anniversary of “15 days to slow the spread,” a mantra Americans heard repeatedly in March 2020, approaches and as public health “experts” implore people to continue wearing masks even after receiving the much-hyped experimental mRNA coronavirus vaccine.