One by one, Washington begins to unmask.

By Katie Rogers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Jill Biden, the first lady, landed in West Virginia just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that vaccinated Americans could, for the most part, remove their masks. So, just before she disembarked from her plane, she did.

After weeks of murky guidance from the C.D.C. on what vaccinated Americans can and can’t do, the sight of a maskless first lady went far to clear up confusion — at least in Charleston, where she visited a vaccine clinic for children set up inside a local high school.

“We feel naked!” Dr. Biden said to a group of junior Army officers who had gathered to greet her. “I didn’t mean it that way.”

It was a surreal and memorable moment that underscored in a very public way just how strange these past million or so months have been. Back in Washington, officials in the Biden White House (quite literally) were able to breath freely again as, one by one, masks began to come off.

At the White House, a maskless President Biden struck a more statesmanlike tone when he addressed the public in the Rose Garden.

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