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Bret Baier pressed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the Department of Justice appealing a court ruling after a Florida judge struck down the federal mask mandate while he intends to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Buttigieg re-iterated White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statement’s that said “we’re in a … different moment in our fight against COVID” and “I think we are moving into a phase where [personal risk assessment is] where a lot of the decision-making is going to lie.”
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“I got it. But it’s just when I introduced you, I was talking about the Justice Department appealing that ruling to keep the mask mandate for public transportation – right up your alley,” Baier said. “Don’t you think voters will look at that and hold the Biden administration or Democrats kind of responsible for something that they really don’t want?”
Buttigieg responded, “Well, the main consideration there isn’t the politics of it. It’s making sure there’s clarity on the public health authority that the CDC has. In other words, that would be important to pursue even if they’re not going to use it right …. And as you recall, it was actually set to expire within a few days of right now.”
Baeir pressed forward asking about the “disconnect” between mask-free parties in Washington and Americans traveling on public transportation.
“You just told me you’re going to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The president’s going to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. You’re not mandated to wear a mask there, but the administration at the same time is fighting a lawsuit to mandate people on planes, trains and … and buses to wear masks. So if you’re sitting at home, there’s a disconnect here.”
Buttigieg said that the lawsuit was about getting clarity “on the legalities of it.”
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“Well, I think most of us understand the difference between a hotel ballroom and an airplane,” he said. “And again, a lot of this is about what authorities the CDC has. So even if they don’t think we need it at all, they still want to make sure that we get clarity.”
“As a practical matter, and I know this is confusing, if you’re getting on an airplane, it’s your call. It’s up to you. And I think the most important thing right now is that everybody is treated with respect, those who choose to wear a mask and those who choose not to.”