In the interview, the president also encouraged baseball fans to wear masks and abide by social-distancing protocols. While spectators are required to wear masks at every ballpark, policies have differed depending on the guidelines of each city or state. The Texas Rangers plan to open their stadium, in Arlington, to full capacity, allowing about 40,300 fans to fill in.
“I think it’s a mistake. They should listen to Dr. Fauci and the scientists and the experts,” Mr. Biden said, referring to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert. “But I think it’s not responsible.”
While states are rapidly expanding access to coronavirus vaccines, the country is a long way from herd immunity, or the point when 70 to 90 percent of the population acquires resistance to infection and transmission of the virus slows. Cases are also on the rise: Over the past week, there has been an average of more than 64,000 cases per day, an increase of 17 percent from the average two weeks earlier, according to a New York Times database.
On Monday, Mr. Biden called for governors and mayors to reinstate mask mandates. The administration has also been working to combat vaccine hesitancy in minority communities as well as among conservatives in rural areas, with an advertising campaign and by relying on community leaders to promote the benefits of the coronavirus vaccine.
Asked what he would say to athletes who are hesitant to be vaccinated, Mr. Biden said: “I’m president of the United States. I got vaccinated.”