Fauci says DOJ challenge to mask ruling more about authority, less about mandate

Fauci says DOJ challenge to mask ruling more about authority, less about mandate

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National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to criticism of the Justice Department’s challenge to a Florida ruling striking down the Biden administration’s transit mask mandate, as well as Tesla CEO Elon Musk requiring employees to return to the office.

Facebook ,” Wednesday interview. Fauci said that it was inappropriate for him to comment about “what an employer does to their employees”. This is in light of Musk’s announcement this week that employees who do not return to work will be resigned.

“Obviously, different institutions, different enterprises have different approaches toward people who are using their work hours from home as opposed to being in-person in the office,” he said, adding that at the NIAID headquarters, employees sometimes work from home. He said that each employer will decide what policy it will adopt for its employees.


Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at the White House.

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at The White House
(AP/Susan Walsh)

In terms of the April ruling voiding the Biden mask mandate, Fauci suggested he understands the Justice Department’s decision to appeal, saying the idea of such mandates at this point is less about affixing masks than it is determining who or what has the legal authority to make decisions thereof.

“One of the issues that I have articulated in the past, and I will in the future, [is] it’s less about mandates on the plane than it is about who has the right and the authority and the capability of making public health decisions,” he said.


“And I believe that the Department of Justice is operating on the principle that decisions that are public health decisions belong with the public health agency, in this case, the CDC. “

The CDC recommends wearing a facemask during air travel, said Fauci, 81, adding his own “personal preference” citing age and other factors makes wearing a mask the better option.


FILE: A United Airlines worker assists travelers after the Biden administration announced it would no longer enforce a U.S. coronavirus mask mandate

FILE: United Airlines worker helps travelers after the Biden administration said it would no longer enforce a U.S. Coronavirus Mask mandate
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo)

While masks are no longer required on federal railroads or airlines, American citizens traveling abroad are still required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their flight to the United States — or be stuck at their holiday spot out of their own pocket.

In May, several travel-sector businesses including Southwest Airlines and Marriott signed a letter to President Obama requesting that the inbound test requirement be removed from federal railroads and airlines. This does not apply to land crossings between Canada or Mexico.

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