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New vibe at White House: Hugs are in; masks are (mostly) out

WASHINGTON (AP) — A smiling crowd of unmasked people filling the largest room in the White House. A visiting head of state welcomed with pomp, circumstance and handshakes. A 94-year old Medal of Honor recipient receiving a joyous hug from Vice President Kamala Harris.

The White House is springing back to life.

Thanks to growing availability of the coronavirus vaccine and a recent relaxation of federal guidance on masks and distancing, the Biden administration is embracing the look and feel of pre-pandemic days on Pennsylvania Avenue. More West Wing staffers are turning . . .

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