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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the Biden administration plans to appeal the mask mandate ruling so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will maintain the authority in the future.
Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.
“The CDC, obviously, as you noted, called for this extension because they want us to look at more data. So I think we can all expect they’re going to continue to want it,” said Psaki Wednesday.
WATCH: A judge struck down the travel mask mandate. Here’s what that means for you
“I would note the objective here is, of course, to appeal the 15 day extension, but also to preserve the CDC authority over the long term.
This comes after a federal judge on Monday threw out the federal requirement to mask up when using mass transit.
Monday’s court order lifting the mask mandate came at a crossroads in the nation’s pandemic response, just shy of a year to the day from when all American adults were eligible for vaccination against COVID-19.
The ruling sent government agencies and the White House scrambling to comply, but that didn’t stop momentary confusion among travelers as airlines and airports dropped their mask requirements – in some cases mid-flight.
The administration stressed that Americans should still comply with CDC recommendations to wear face coverings, even in the absence of the mandate.
On Tuesday, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said officials believe that the federal mask order was “a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health.”
He said it was “an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve.”
But he said the department would only appeal the ruling if the CDC determined that the mask mandate was still necessary for public health.
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