White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News’ senior White House correspondent Peter Doocy clashed Monday after Doocy questioned Psaki on the science behind a mask mandate on a plane but not in the briefing room.
“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?” Doocy asked.
“I’m not a doctor,” Psaki replied. “You’re not a doctor.”
“These determinations, the masking guidance, is green, yellow and red. 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, people do, or wear them in meetings or wear them at certain times when you’re going to be around or sitting close to people or maybe you have an immunocompromised parent or friend so you can make that decision,” Psaki continued.
“This is based on health considerations and data that the CDC looks at about transmissibility as we’ve seen with increasing cases on airplanes.”
Doocy then questioned whether President Joe Biden would support passengers departing from a green zone to wear a mask nonetheless. (RELATED: Philadelphia Becomes First Major City To bring Back Mask Mandates)
Psaki again pointed to the tiered level of responses set out by the CDC and said the administration would have hoped for a two-week extension of the policy to look at data on case counts.
District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of Florida’s middle district ruled Monday that the CDC’s mask mandate exceeds its statutory authority under the Administrative Procedure Act. Mizelle, a Trump-era appointee, ruled the order “violates the procedures required for agency rule making under the APA” and remanded the mandate order back to the CDC.