White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki lashed out at a Florida court striking down the Biden administration’s lawless, unscientific mask mandate from the comfort of Air Force One on Tuesday. Watch:
“Well, I would note — well, I’ve seen those videos. Anecdotes are not data, right?” she replied. “And certainly, that does tell a part of the story. But we don’t make these decisions based on politics or based on the political whims on a plane or even in a poll. But I would note in polls, and data, lengthier data, there are still a lot of people in this country who still want to have masks in place.”
Psaki was also asked if the Biden administration intends to appeal the federal court’s ruling.
“On the mask mandate, why is the DoJ not appealing that?” a reporter asked. “And… does the administration risk taking away some of your options for the future, especially if there’s some new variants?” he continued.
“Well, unless something’s happened when we got on the plane, I don’t think they’ve made any announcement at this point in time,” she responded. “So, as we’ve said, agencies are reviewing step — next steps — including the Department of Justice, traditionally following court decision. That can take a couple of days.”
“We have said from the start that our Covid response should be guided by the science and data and by experts,” she added. “And — and just as a reminder, when we made this announcement, the CDC said it needed 15 days to assess the impacts of an uptick in cases on hospitalizations, deaths, and hospital capacity.”
“We feel — still feel — that is entirely reasonable based on the latest science,” she continued. “And public health decisions shouldn’t be made by the courts. They should be made by public health experts. So again, I can’t — I’m not going to get ahead of the Department of Justice. We’ll let them make any decisions or announcements, but —”
“So, they might still appeal is what you’re saying?” a reporter followed up.
“It typically — yeah, it typically takes a couple of days to review and make an assessment,” she said.
The Biden administration on Monday released a statement in response to a federal court in Florida striking down the national mask mandate for airlines and other public transportation.
“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. 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.”
As reported earlier, a federal judge in Florida voided the national mask mandate covering airports, planes and other public travel. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking.
The judge who just overturned the mask mandate on airplanes is Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. 35-years-old, former Clarence Thomas clerked, appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate right before the lame duck session ended in 2020. pic.twitter.com/lu6ck1FIvT
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 18, 2022
The judge’s conclusion that the CDC’s mandate exceeded the agency’s authority. The Tampa court’s ruling can be read in full below:
National Mask Mandate for Transportation Struck Down by Tampa Court by Kyle Becker on Scribd
United Airlines responded to the news by dropping the mask mandate immediately.
“Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports,” UA said in a statement.
Delta Airlines announced it was no longer enforcing masks, which passengers aboard a flight applauded.
Passengers on a Delta Airlines flight got a surprise on their way to Los Angeles on Monday – the overturning of the national mask mandate for planes and public transit.
"People clapped, drinks are flowing, masks off," the passenger who recorded the announcement wrote. pic.twitter.com/lvcTrcp5TM
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 19, 2022
Alaska Airline dropped its mask mandate, which the passengers greeted with enthusiasm.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. This is the most important announcement I’ve ever made. The federal mask mandate is over. Take off your mask if you choose!” ~ Alaska Airlines. pic.twitter.com/Rb8bjlDJLs
— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) April 18, 2022
Allegiant Air’s announcement got a similar reaction.
Flight attendant just announced no masks on our @Allegiant flight. We are about to leave Orlando. Many people clapping. pic.twitter.com/CnCYONf1YE
— Dave Bondy (@DaveBondyTV) April 19, 2022
There is no significant evidence that mask mandates for the general public have led to a decline in case rates around the world. This was the case prior to Covid-19 and remains the case today. That is what the actual “science” says.
Last week the CDC updated its policy tracker for public mask mandates noting whether or not a county had a mask mandate in place on a given day. From there we can map the "official" COVID-19 cases per 100K. Here's the Omicron wave. Mask mandates do not work. pic.twitter.com/XN79ZsZ6rz
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) April 12, 2022
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is nonetheless upset that a Biden administration policy it had no authority to “mandate” was overturned by a federal court. But public health officials are not elected officials and do not have the power to rule Americans’ lives by unconstitutional decree.
This is why the executive branch, whether at the state or at the federal level, is forbidden from issuing decrees in the United States. They are illegal, and therefore, unenforceable. The U.S. Constitution grants law-making powers to the legislative branch, and thus, the solution to avoid such legal disputes in the future is to pass actual laws and not unconstitutional “mandates.”
CNN’s Dr. Leana Wen Blasts Airlines Ending Mandate for Masks That She Once Called ‘Facial Decorations’
"*" indicates required fields
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.