Washington, Apr 19 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that travelers should be the ones to decide whether or not they will wear facemasks on airplanes, trains, buses and other forms of public transportation.
The president’s remarks, which are a change from the stance his administration had maintained up until now, came after on Monday a Florida judge struck down the government’s prior transportation mask mandate.
On Tuesday, when a reporter asked Biden during his trip to New Hampshire whether people should continue wearing facemasks on passenger aircraft to protect themselves – not to mention others – against Covid-19, Biden responded, “That’s up to them.”
To the subsequent question of whether the administration will appeal the judge’s ruling, the president said only that “I haven’t spoken to the CDC yet,” referring to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which determines health policy at the federal level.
Shortly before Biden made his comments, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reminded reporters that the CDC continues to recommend the use of masks on public transportation, although by that time the judge had already annulled that mandate.
The Biden administration had extended until May 3 its requirement for facemasks on public transportation, due to the recent sharp rise in cases of the Omicron BA.2 subvariant of the coronavirus.