On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha defended rescinding Title 42 while extending the transit mask mandate by stating that “We have always had a bit of a different standard on transportation,” because people can’t get up and move away from someone who is coughing or sneezing on a plane and defended children wearing masks.
Host Neil Cavuto asked, [relevant remarks begin around 4:20] “I’d like to address this whole Title 42 situation with you, doctor. Because there seems to be a different standard for migrants or those at the border, where we might loosen that at a time when we are tightening requirements here. I’m just wondering your thoughts on that and whether Americans are right to feel that there’s a double standard.”
Jha responded, “The way I look at it is, first of all, if you look across the country, if you look at the CDC map, 97% of the country is in green. There are not very many restrictions. And the CDC scientists determined, on Title 42, that it was an appropriate time, from a public health point of view, to lift the Title 42 restrictions. We have always had a bit of a different standard on transportation, in the sense that we know when you’re sitting on an airplane, the person sitting next to you, if they’re coughing, they’re sneezing, you can’t get up and move. So, we’ve always wanted to be extra careful on public transportation, airlines. And that, I think, is part of what is motivating the CDC scientists here to say, let’s take two more weeks, let’s get a sense of what’s going on. They really are pretty different circumstances. And I think that’s what is driving the CDC decision-making on this.”
Jha added, “I think what we heard from the CDC this week is a little more time to make a more durable decision. It struck me as eminently reasonable.”
Cavuto then asked, “Do you think little kids should wear masks, doctor?”
Jha answered, “That is what both the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, that’s what the CDC recommends. So, I really do follow the experts on this. And I believe that, if America’s pediatricians are making those recommendations, I’m certainly going to take that pretty seriously.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett