White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki snapped at Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on Monday when asked about the Biden administration’s approach to masking policies.
Doocy pressed Psaki on the matter after U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle for the Middle District of Florida ruled on Monday that the federal travel mask mandate was unlawful because it “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions.” After the ruling, major airlines revoked their mask mandates.
“You said about this mask ruling out of a federal court in Florida that it’s a ‘disappointing decision,’ and you say you continue to recommend that people wear masks,” Doocy said. “Why is it that we can sit here in the White House briefing room with no masks, but people can’t sit in an airplane cabin with no masks?”
“Well, Peter, I’m not a doctor,” Psaki replied. “You’re not a doctor — that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that today — until today.”
“Can confirm,” Doocy replied.
“Okay, not a doctor,” Psaki said. “Just making sure. I don’t know.”
‘Well, Peter, I’m not a doctor, you’re not a doctor … This is based on health considerations and data that the CDC looks at’ — Press secretary Jen Psaki replied to Fox News’ reporter Peter Doocy’s questions regarding the court ruling on mask mandates for public transportation pic.twitter.com/qXT5SLt6kK
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 19, 2022
“But these determinations — remember the masking guidance is — there are — is green, yellow, and red,” she continued. “We are currently in a green zone in Washington, D.C., so they’re not recommending it.”
“Some people can still wear a mask if they want to — many people do — or wear them in meetings or wear them at certain times where you’re going to be around or sitting close to people, or maybe you have an immunocompromised parent or — or friend,” Psaki added. “And so people make that decision. And there’s — this is based on health considerations and data that the CDC looks at about transmissibility as — as we’ve seen an increase in cases on — on airplanes.”
“Would the president support if a flight is leaving from an airport in a green zone, those people don’t have to wear masks?” Doocy pressed.
“Again, Peter, there’s a — there’s been long a difference from the beginning about people on an airplane and in federal transportation vehicles and situations than where they are in locations, like we here — here continue to be, in Washington, D.C., a green zone,” Psaki responded. “But what we had asked for — I think it’s important to remember — is a two-week extension — or not asked for — what we had announced was a two-week extension to look at the data and make recommendations based on the data and the science about whether it should be continued or not.”
Indeed, the Biden administration released a statement revealing that officials will be considering “potential next steps,” while admitting that the CDC’s masking order is no longer in effect.
“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps,” an administration official said. “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”