Psaki Asked Why Reporters Can Be Maskless in the WH, but People 'Can't' Be Maskless on an Airplane


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is facing questions about why the administration extended a mask mandate for public transportation while not requiring masks in the briefing room.

Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Psaki on Monday, “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?”

“I’m not a doctor. You’re not a doctor that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that until today,” Psaki responded.

She continued, “Remember 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. Many people do,” she added.

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Finally, Psaki said, “This is based on health considerations and data that the CDC looks at about transmissibility as we’ve seen an increase in cases on airplanes.”

Watch the video below:

Doocy’s question comes after  U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the transportation mandate. She ruled it was unlawful because it went beyond the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the briefing, Psaki was also asked whether people boarding flights on Monday would still have to wear masks.

“We’re continuing to recommend people wear masks,” she responded.

She added, “I don’t have any updates. This just came out through the courts just this afternoon. And as soon as there is an update, we will provide that to you.”

The press secretary stressed that the White House did not want to create uncertainty around the mask mandate.

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She reiterated that the administration still recommends that people boarding flights or using other forms of transportation continue to wear masks.

Last month, several CEOs of U.S.-based airlines signed a letter to President Joe Biden calling for the end of mask mandates, as IJR reported.

The letter noted that “several studies” conducted before the coronavirus vaccines were available showed that “an airplane cabin is one of the safest indoor environments due to the combination of highly filtered air and constant air flow coupled with the downward direction of the air.”

They pointed out that passengers can still wear masks if they want to, but said, “It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do.”

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