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Biden says it’s ‘up to’ travelers if they want to wear masks on planes after judge blocks mandate

When President Joe Biden was asked Tuesday if people should continue to wear masks on airplanes, he quickly responded saying, “that’s up to them.”

The comment comes after the White House’s attempt to extend the federal mask mandate on airplanes and other modes of transportation was shot down by a federal judge on Monday.

The mandate had been set to expire multiple times over the past two years but was recently extended two weeks to May 3rd ahead of Monday’s ruling.


The Trump-nominated judge, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, concluded that the mask mandate exceeded the CDC’s authority under the Public Health Services Act.

The case was originally brought to Judge Mizelle by Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., Ana Daza, and Sarah Pope, who were against the administration’s decision for an extension.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called it a “a disappointing decision” during her press briefing on Monday.

PORTSMOUTH, NH - APRIL 19: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure law on April 19, 2022 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

The Transportation Security Administration has also announced that they will no longer be enforcing national mask mandates following the ruling.


A traveler told Fox News her opinion on the recent mask mandate controversy, saying, “I’m thrilled. It’s about time,” she continued, “It should have been over a long time ago.”

“I think it’s time that we just move on,” another told the Fox News reporter.

Passengers check in at the terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Arlington, Va. A federal judge's decision to strike down a national mask mandate was met with cheers on some airplanes but also concern about whether it's really time to end the order sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden was also asked if he was, “going to try to appeal the ruling the judge made striking down the mask mandate.” The President responded by saying that he has not “spoken to the CDC yet.”

Biden’s recent comment at the Portsmouth airport Tuesday that wearing a mask is “up to” Americans was made after fighting to extend the mandate.

Biden arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Tuesday morning to give a speech talking about new infrastructure projects.

Fox News’ Jon Michael Raasch and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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