(breitbart) – The White House on Wednesday said President Joe Biden’s administration would continue to defend mask mandates leveled by the Centers for Disease Control, despite airline passengers celebrating a court ruling effectively ending them.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the two-week extension of the mask mandate on planes and public transportation, arguing the CDC “felt they needed that” to examine more data about the coronavirus pandemic.
She said the Justice Department announced its willingness to defend the CDC’s mandate to help preserve the agency’s power over public transportation.
“I mean our focus here was seeing what power we had to preserve what we felt was in the public health interest of the country,” Psaki explained.
She defended the mandate extension as “entirely warranted” and “entirely reasonable.”
“For current and future health crises, we want to preserve that authority for the CDC to have in the future,” Psaki said.
She also dismissed videos emerging on social media of airline passengers celebrating announcements about the end of a mask mandate.
“We also don’t take photos of flights as data about how the country reacts to issues, whether they are ripping their masks off or not,” she said.
The White House continues struggling to provide a cohesive response to the ruling from a federal judge striking down the mandate.
Psaki defended Biden’s reaction to the ruling after he said it was up to airline passengers themselves to decide whether or not they wanted to wear a mask.
“The president was answering the question quite literally,” she said, adding that the administration continued to “disagree” with the court order to overturn the law.
Psaki said it would be up to the CDC to decide whether or not they continued to want the additional two-week extension of the ban.
“We certainly anticipate hearing from them soon,” she said.