Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, voiced his opposition to a judge ending the public transit mask mandate.
Fauci made the comments in an interview with Kasie Hunt on CNN that was published Thursday.
“Both surprised and disappointed because those types of things really are the purview of the CDC. This is a public health issue, and for a court to come in and if you look at the rationale for that, it really is not particularly firm, and we are concerned about that, about courts getting involved in what is unequivocally a public health decision, I mean this is a CDC issue, it should not be a court issue,” said Fauci.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said Monday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exceeded its statutory authority when it ordered the mandate on public transit.
“So we’re hoping that the inevitable increase in cases which we’re seeing are not going to be associated with an increase in hospitalizations. So all of these dynamic things going on at the same time, it was perfectly logical for the CDC to say, ‘Wait a minute, we were planning on ending this mandate on a certain date, let’s wait a period of time until May 3rd.’ Which was a very sound public health decision,” Fauci continued.
“So for a court to come in and interfere in that is really unfortunate,” he added. “It’s unfortunate because it’s against public health principles, number one, and number two, is because that’s no place for the courts to do that, this is a CDC decision and that’s very bad precedent when you have courts making a decision. And looking at what the basis of the decision was, it was not sound.”
Liberals have criticized the judge who issued the order to end the mandate because she was appointed by former President Donald Trump. Others say that the premature end of the mandate is putting the public at risk, but polling shows that the end of the mandate is very popular.