Psaki Responds To Videos Of People Celebrating, Pulling Off Masks On Planes

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington

Psaki Responds To Videos Of People Celebrating, Pulling Off Masks On Planes

Laurel Duggan on April 20, 2022

White House press secretary Jen Psaki downplayed Americans’ enthusiasm for the end of the federal mask mandate during a press gaggle period on Air Force One.

“You saw a lot of Americans … immediately pulling off their masks on airplanes very happy about the change,” a reporter said in his questions to Psaki. “Is the administration concerned that the public is moving on … without the CDC and that the country is in a different place than where the administration is in?”

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Psaki denied that the videos represented the general views of the American on masking while on board planes.

“Well, I’ve seen those videos. Anecdotes are not data, right?” she said. “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 continued. “Either they have immunocompromised relatives, they have kids under five, whatever it may be.”

A federal judge in Florida struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for public transportation Monday. Flight attendants and passengers ripped off their masks and cheered in celebration in numerous videos shared online.

A March Axios poll found 64% of Americans favored an end to all COVID-19 restrictions at the local, state and federal level. It surveyed 957 adults between March 11-14 with a 3.5% margin of error.

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