Fauci says DOJ challenge to mask ruling more about authority, less about mandate
Fauci also commented on Elon Musk requiring Tesla employees to return to the office.
By Charles Creitz | Fox News
Fauci discusses Elon Musk's order to employees, whether pandemic is 'over'
White House adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci joins 'Your World' to analyze the state of the pandemic and whether the contagion is still markedly present.
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to criticism of the Justice Department's challenge to a Florida ruling striking down the Biden administration's transit mask mandate, as well as Tesla CEO Elon Musk requiring employees to return to the office.
In an interview Wednesday on "Your World," Fauci said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on "what an employer does with their employees" in terms of Musk declaring this week that employees who fail to return to the office will be considered resigned.
"Obviously, different institutions, different enterprises have different approaches toward people who are using their work hours from home as opposed to being in-person in the office," he said, adding that at the NIAID headquarters, employees sometimes work from home.
"I think it's going to be up to each individual employer to decide what policy they're going to make for their employees," he said.
BIDEN DOJ PRESSES TO REINSTITUTE MASK MANDATES ON PLANES
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at the White House.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at the White House. (AP/Susan Walsh)
In terms of the April ruling voiding the Biden mask mandate, Fauci suggested he understands the Justice Department's decision to appeal, saying the idea of such mandates at this point is less about affixing masks than it is determining who or what has the legal authority to make decisions thereof.
"One of the issues that I have articulated in the past, and I will in the future, [is] it's less about mandates on the plane than it is about who has the right and the authority and the capability of making public health decisions," he said.
RAND PAUL RIPS FAUCI FOLLOWING LATEST HEARING FIREWORKS
"And I believe that the Department of Justice is operating on the principle that decisions that are public health decisions belong with the public health agency, in this case, the CDC."
The CDC recommends wearing a facemask during air travel, said Fauci, 81, adding his own "personal preference" citing age and other factors makes wearing a mask the better option.
FILE: A United Airlines worker assists travelers after the Biden administration announced it would no longer enforce a U.S. coronavirus mask mandate
FILE: A United Airlines worker assists travelers after the Biden administration announced it would no longer enforce a U.S. coronavirus mask mandate.
While masks are no longer required on federal railroads or airlines, American citizens traveling abroad are still required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their flight to the United States — or be stuck at their holiday spot out of their own pocket.
In May, several travel-sector companies including Marriott and Southwest Airlines reportedly cosigned a letter to the White House calling for "expeditious terminate[ion]" of the inbound test requirement — which does not apply to land crossings from Canada or Mexico.