Buttigieg Says Making Passengers Wear Facemasks on Flights Is a 'Matter of Respect'

Brittany M. Hughes | June 1, 2021
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PeeWee – er, sorry, Pete – Buttigieg, President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, defended rules requiring airline passengers, including toddlers, to don facemasks throughout the entire duration of their trip, calling it a “matter of respect.”

“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,” Buttigieg said during a weekend interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to ever mistreat a transportation worker and of course, there’s very serious fines and enforcement around that,” he went on.

“It’s a matter of safety, but it’s also a matter of respect," Buttigieg added.

Current federal regulations require the vast majority of passengers to wear facemasks in airports and during their flight, with most airlines requiring them for passengers as young as two years old despite the low likelihood of young children to suffer from or spread COVID-19.

Buttigieg’s insistence that forcing all travelers to wear masks on public transportation like airplanes appears to contradict recent CDC guidance that declared that vaccinated persons can go about their lives, including walking around in public and gathering in both large and small groups, without masks because of the safety they’re afforded by having gotten The Jab. While the CDC still says everyone must mask up in certain situations – like in hospitals or on airplanes – their own “rules” suggest this measure isn’t really about preventing the spread of COVID, which vaxxed people supposedly can’t suffer from or spread in any measurable way.

But none of that matters to an administration that’s already decided the rules are more important than logic.

“Of course the decisions will continue to be on the part of public health authorities and driven by public health considerations,” Buttigieg added, “but just remember that the flight crews and other workers you encounter, they’re doing their job, they’re following regulations, and they’re there to keep you safe.”

Either way, it looks like being told to face diaper-up isn’t stopping Americans from hopping on a flight and jet-setting across the country. According to TSA data, more than 3.5 million people passed through American airport security between last Friday and Saturday alone.

(Cover Photo: Marco Verch)