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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg employed a hypocritical double standard Thursday after justifying his forthcoming attendance at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner.
What is the background?
The White House Correspondents' Dinner will be held this Saturday for the first time since 2019. More than 2,500 people are expected to attend, according to the New York Times.
At an event where journalists rub elbows with the political and Hollywood elite, COVID-19 protocols have been a priority concern. However, no masks will be required. Instead, event organizers are requiring that every attendee be vaccinated and prove a negative COVID-19 test on the same day of the event, the Washington Post reported.
Still, those requirements were not enough for Dr. Anthony Fauci, who revealed on Tuesday that he will not attend the event "because of my individual assessment of my personal risk."
What did Buttigieg say?
Fox News host Bret Baier pressed Buttigieg on how Biden administration officials, including the president himself, can attend the dinner while simultaneously fighting to reinstate the travel mask mandate.
"You just told me you're going to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The president's going to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. You're not mandated to wear a mask there, but the administration at the same time is fighting a lawsuit to mandate people on planes, trains, and buses to wear masks. So, if you're sitting at home, there's a disconnect here," Baier observed.
Buttigieg offered a parody-level claim in response.
"Well, I think most of us understand the difference between a hotel ballroom and an airplane," he said. "And again, a lot of this is about what authorities the CDC has. So even if they don't think we need it at all, they still want to make sure that we get clarity in court on the legalities [of the mandate]."
Buttigieg added that wearing a face mask on an airplane is "your call," but Baier quickly retorted that it is only "up to you if the administration loses the appeal."
Baier presses Buttigieg on Biden's 'disconnect' with voterswww.youtube.com
Buttigieg is right. There is a significant difference between a hotel ballroom and an airplane: The aircraft has cleaner air.
In fact, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told the Senate last December that face masks are not necessary on commercial airliners because of the air filters that planes use.
"I think the case is very strong that masks don't add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment. It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting," Kelly said.
Parker added, "I concur. An aircraft is the safest place you can be. It's true of all of our aircraft — they all have the same HEPA filters and air flow."
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News