On Thursday’s broadcast of “PBS NewsHour,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha commented on the CDC’s transportation mask mandate being struck down in court by stating that “decisions like how we protect the health of the American people should be decided by public health scientists and our public health agencies like the CDC and not by a federal judge.”

Jha said, “I think there are a couple of points here that are worth mentioning: First, decisions like how we protect the health of the American people should be decided by public health scientists and our public health agencies like the CDC and not by a federal judge. In terms of legal strategy and legal issues, the Department of Justice, their lawyers felt very clearly that the CDC had acted within its powers, and that’s why they appealed. And the administration and the legal experts around the country are confident that the CDC was acting lawfully and that, eventually, the CDC will win this case.”

He added, “[I]t is absolutely essential that CDC have this ability, whether it’s for the rest of this pandemic or for future health crises. It is essential that CDC have the ability to put in rules that are going to protect the traveling public. They’ve had that rule for — that authority for decades, and it’s essential that we continue that. That’s one of the reasons why the Department of Justice filed this appeal, to preserve that authority for the CDC.”

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