Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to the White House, admitted Wednesday that the battle over the Biden administration’s travel mask mandate is really about public health officials maintaining as much power as possible.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) filed with a federal appeals court Tuesday against an April decision which overturned the public transportation and airplane mask mandate that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled in April that the CDC was overstepping its legal authority by forcing Americans to wear a mask any time they travel.
Fauci told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that the Biden administration’s fight against that ruling wasn’t so much about the mandate itself, but conserving the power of the public health establishment.
“One of the issues … it’s less about mandates on the plane than it is about who has the right and the authority and the capability of making public health decisions,” Fauci said. “And I believe that the Department of Justice is operating on the principle that decisions that are public health decisions belong with the public health agency — in this case, the CDC.”
“So it’s more of a matter of principle of where the authority lies than it is about whether or not there’s gonna be a mandate on a plane or not.” (RELATED: The Biden Administration Is Ignoring The Science On Airplane Masking)
Cavuto pressed Fauci on the specifics of the mandate itself, asking the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases if he thought it was still prudent to wear masks on planes. He mentioned that Fauci was seemingly still cautious, having recently skipped the White House Correspondents Dinner.
“I do, I mean the CDC continues to recommend that when people fly, that they wear masks,” Fauci answered. “The mandate has been pulled back on the decision of the court, but that does not change the recommendation of the CDC, Neil, or my own personal preference.”
Fauci made similar comments about the mask mandate when Mizelle, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, first handed down her ruling which put a stop to the travel mandate nation-wide. In April, he said that courts should not get involved in public health issues that fall under the purview of the CDC.