WH Cleans Up Biden Confusion on Title 42, Mask Mandates (C-SPAN)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 21 April 2022 05:08 PM
When asked about the administration's position on Title 42 expulsions expiring in May, President Joe Biden appeared to get confused and responded to the question as if he was talking about an entirely different issue: mask mandates.
Biden was asked about whether he was considering delaying the expiration of Title 42.
"No, what I'm considering is continuing to hear from my, my, uh," Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday, but stopping, scratching his head, and switching gears.
Biden suggested the Justice Department was appealing the Title 42 expiration, but it was widely known in the media Wednesday the DOJ was appealing the judge's ruling that took down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 mask mandate on public transit, including airlines and trains.
"Well, first of all, there's going to be an appeal by the Justice Department because, as a matter of principle, we want to be able to be in a position where if, in fact, it is strongly concluded by the scientists that we need Title 42, that we'd be able to do that," he continued.
"But there has been no decision on extending Title 42."
The White House cleaned up the confusion afterward.
"I was referring to the CDC's mask mandate and there is no Department of Justice action on Title 42," Biden said in a statement, the Washington Examiner reported.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre added to reporters on Air Force One, the White House does not hold influence over the expiration of Title 42.
"Extending Title 42 is not our decision," she said, the Examiner reported. "We've been saying that is Congress' decision to make."
Also, it is a CDC public health emergency measure that gives the CDC the authority and not the White House, according to Jean-Pierre.
The CDC "must have the essential public health authority now and in the future," she added. "The principle that public health decisions should be made by public health authorities, that is what is at stake right now."