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Psaki Reminds Doocy 'You're Not A Doctor' With Smackdown About How Mask Guidelines Work

Psaki Reminds Doocy 'You're Not A Doctor' With Smackdown About How Mask Guidelines Work
Fox News

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News reporter Peter Doocy have sparred again, this time after Doocy questioned Psaki as to why masks had been required on airplanes but not in the White House briefing room.

Doocy's question came just after a federal judge struck down the Biden administration’s mandate that masks be worn aboard planes, trains, buses and other public transportation, creating an immediate change in policy that sent ripple effects through the air and rail travel industries.

Psaki, as composed as ever, reminded Doocy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has different recommendations for different locations and situations dependent on COVID-19 caseloads, crowd density and other factors.

You can watch the interaction in the video below.

Psaki reminded Doocy that he is "not a doctor" and is thus not qualified to make decisions about mask mandates:

"Well, Peter, I'm not a doctor and you're not a doctor, that I'm aware of. If you're a doctor I wasn't aware of that until today."

Doocy conceded that he is not one, and when a reporter next to him jokingly asked if he plays one "on TV," Psaki said that Doocy does not play one on TV "Most days," a remark that received chuckles in the White House briefing room.

She went further, outlining, as if to a child, the different COVID alert levels as determined by the CDC, which are measured using a color system of green, yellow, and red.

The CDC uses a combination of three metrics to determine a given area's COVID-19 community level: new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and the total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.

Psaki said:

"These determinations, remember, the masking guidance, is green, yellow, and red. We are currently in a green zone in Washington, D.C. so they're not recommending it [masks]."
"Some people can still wear masks if they want to and many people do, or wear them in meetings or wear them at certain times when you're going to be around or sitting close to people, or maybe you have an immunocompromised parent or friend, so people make that decision."
"This is based on health considerations and data that the CDC looks at about transmissibility as we've seen increasing cases on airplanes."

And when Doocy asked whether President Joe Biden would support people not wearing masks on flights that "leave from a green zone," Psaki had an answer for that, too:

"Again, Peter, there's been a difference from the beginning about people on an airplane and in federal transportation vehicles and situations than whre they are in locations."

Psaki noted, again, that Washington D.C. is in a green zone and reminded Doocy that the Biden administration had announced a two-week extension to the federal mask mandate, before a judge struck it down, "based on the data, on the science, and to make recommendations about whether it should be continued or not."

Doocy was immediately criticized following the exchange.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it will appeal the ruling that struck down the mandate but will not ask a court to stay the decision, which means that passengers can continue to travel without masks while the mandate is litigated.

In a statement, the DOJ said that it and the CDC "disagree with the district court’s decision and will appeal, subject to CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health."