The White House on Wednesday called on Americans with health issues to take proper precautions to protect themselves from air pollution blanketing the US East Coast, a result of raging wildfires in Canada.
“We encourage everyone in the impacted areas to listen to their state and local conditions,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
“Check in on your neighbors, check in on your friends and your family. Take precautions especially if you have health conditions.”
She called the situation an “alarming example of the ways in which the climate crisis is disturbing our lives.”
As a thick haze blanketed the US capital, the spokeswoman said President Joe Biden, 80, was not wearing a face mask.
When asked about whether an event for Pride month on the White House lawn would go ahead as scheduled on Thursday, Jean-Pierre said there were no schedule changes as yet, but that the situation was being monitored.
Biden was briefed on the emerging health crisis, with air quality ratings soaring into the unhealthy zones in multiples US cities. US and Canadian officials were also in contact, she said.
US firefighters and equipment have been sent to Canada to help battle the blazes.