Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended mask mandates on public transportation and planes as a “matter of respect,” during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week. The Biden Cabinet member’s comments came in the wake of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggesting that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask in some public areas.
A transcript is as follows:
MARTHA RADDATZ: We’re seeing more violent encounters on planes over federal mask mandates. You’ve mentioned the flight attendants and others — there have really been some violent altercations onboard. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he thinks those mandates will stay in-effect through the summer, but health experts have told us that there’s really no difference between an airplane, restaurant, or gym, where vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks. Why not institute that same policy on airplanes?
SEC. PETE BUTTIGIEG: Well, some of the differences have to do with the physical space. Some of them have to do with it being a workplace where in some of these transit and travel situations people don’t have a choice. […] It’s a matter of safety, but it’s also a matter of respect.