President Joe Biden misspoke while fielding questions from reporters Thursday, giving an answer on a topic unrelated to the question posed and forcing White House staff to once again issue a correction on behalf of the president.
Following a live address April 21 on renewed military aid to Ukraine, a reporter asked Biden whether his administration is considering delaying the end of Title 42—the public health policy that limits immigration and is set to end next month.
Biden, 79, then proceeded to give an answer conflating the Title 42 issue with that of federal mask requirements on planes.
“No,” he began. “What I’m considering is continuing to hear from my, my—
“First of all, there’s going to be an appeal by the Justice Department (DOJ), because as a matter of principle, we want 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.”
The Justice Department is not appealing the decision to end Title 42—a call that was made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—but the DOJ is appealing a ruling by a federal judge this week that the CDC’s mask requirement for public transportation is beyond its legal authority.
Biden finished his answer by returning to the issue of Title 42 saying, “there has been no decision on extending Title 42.”
Following the press conference, White House staff issued a statement to reporters on behalf of President Biden:
“I want to clarify that, in comments at the conclusion of my remarks this morning, I was referring to the CDC’s mask mandate and there is no Department of Justice action on Title 42.”
The White House has had to clarify the president’s comments after the fact many times in recent months.
By Nick Ciolino