President Biden is reiterating his plea that Americans return to office. Multiple corporations, including Google, Apple, and Nike, have begun to announce that they are ushering employees back into office after COVID-19 shutdowns began in March 2020. Biden is hoping to see this re-entry take place on a larger scale.
He spoke on this twice last week—once during his State of the Union address on March 1 and again on March 5. The second set of remarks came on the same day that New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, announced that the mask mandate for schools would end effective immediately, as well as vaccine requirements for indoor activities like restaurants and concert venues.
“Because of the progress we’ve made in fighting COVID, Americans can not only get back to work, but they can go to the office and safely fill our great downtown cities again and creating more commerce,” the president said on March 5. “With 75% of adult Americans fully vaccinated and hospitalizations down by 77%, most Americans can remove their mask, return to work, and move forward safely.”
This was a direct callback to statements made during his State of the Union Address.
“Because of the progress we’ve made fighting COVID, Americans can not only get back to work, but they can go to the office and safely fill our great downtown cities again,” Biden said on March 1.
“We can end the shutdown of schools and businesses. We have the tools we need. It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” he also said. “People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office.”
New Jersey, California, Oregon, and Connecticut are among the Democratic states that have also ended indoor mask mandates.
President Biden’s comments are backed by the decline of unemployment rates, which fell to 3.8 percent in February 2022. Again, it also seems that in-person work is on the rise, with Insider reporting that in February, the percent of US workers telecommuting is at 13%, whereas it was at 24.3% in August 2020.
As stated, President Biden then reiterated his desire later in the week, alluding to the relaxed guidelines we’ve seen from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention regarding masks.
The president’s remarks have been met with pushback from citizens though.
“Pushing to end work from home the same time as gas prices are skyrocketing just doesn’t sit right with me…,” wrote Twitter user @foreverangie_.
Another tweeter, @Diablotaaa_ wrote, “I love working from home, and Biden trying to push an end to remote work is baffling. It’s improved work/life balance for so many people.”