White House press secretary: ‘People are not legally bound to wear masks’ on planes


“People are not legally bound to wear masks. So, it is a point in time where it is up to people, it is their choice,” Psaki told reporters, later adding that the administration continues to recommend “everyone wear masks on a plane” per guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When asked about President Joe Biden’s comments Tuesday that people should decide for themselves whether to wear masks on an airplane, Psaki said that Biden “was answering the question quite literally,” reiterating that the White House disagrees with the judge’s decision and that Biden and others traveling with him would continue to wear a mask in flight.

“We are not implementing the mask mandate because of the court order, which we disagree with, while he is still abiding by CDC guidance. So, we recommend Americans do that across the country. They’re still recommending people wear masks on airplanes,” Psaki said, noting that travelers aboard Air Force One Tuesday on a trip to New Hampshire all wore masks.

Psaki said that public polling “does not actually show that there is a universal view of people getting rid of masks,” but that that “doesn’t matter” to the White House as it makes its decisions “based on public health and data.”

The Biden Justice Department said this week it will appeal the court ruling that struck down the federal mask mandate for travelers — but only if the CDC determines the mandate is still necessary to protect public health.

Before the Florida judge’s ruling, the Biden administration had extended the requirement for masks on planes, trains, and inside airports through May 3. The CDC was set to assess whether the mandate was still needed until May 3, and a Justice Department spokesperson said any appeal would come after that date.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: The Bloggers Briefing