White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to explain to Fox News’s Peter Doocy that he’s not a doctor, getting laughs from the press corps.
“You said about this mask ruling out of a federal court in Florida that it’s a ‘disappointing decision,’ and you say you continue to recommend that people wear masks,” Doocy stated, referring to Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s ruling that the CDC-recommended federal mask mandate for travel is unlawful.
“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?” he complained.
“Well, Peter, I’m not a doctor. You’re not a doctor — that I’m aware of,” Psaki responded, getting laughs. “If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that today, until today.”
“Can confirm,” Doocy responded.
“Okay, not a doctor,” Psaki said as people laughed. “Just making sure. I don’t know.”
Psaki explained that the CDC codes areas green, yellow, or red, a system based on “hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area,” according to the CDC.
“We are currently in a green zone in Washington, D.C., so they’re not recommending it,” Psaki said. “Some people can still wear a mask if they want to — many people do — or wear them in meetings or wear them at certain times where you’re going to be around or sitting close to people, or maybe you have an immunocompromised parent or — or friend. And so people make that decision.”
She noted that planes have special “health considerations” because of the transmissibility of the virus in them.
“Jen, would the president support if a flight is leaving from an airport in a green zone, those people don’t have to wear masks?” Doocy asked, as if stopovers or people driving from non-green areas to get to an airport in a green area don’t exist.
“Again, Peter, there’s a — there’s been long a difference from the beginning about people on an airplane and in federal transportation vehicles and situations than where they are in locations, like we here — here continue to be, in Washington, D.C., a green zone,” she responded.
For the second time in recent weeks, Jen Psaki explains CDC guidance to Peter Doocy like he's a child pic.twitter.com/W8okaDIqgJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 18, 2022
Judge Mizelle ruled on Monday that the CDC exceeded its authority and didn’t follow the proper process when implementing the mask mandate.
“This is obviously a disappointing decision,” Psaki said in response yesterday. “The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit.”