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WASHINGTON–Transportation Secretary and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the current fight in court over mask mandates on planes, trains, and buses is important for clarification purposes.

A federal court judge in Florida said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had overstepped its authority in requiring masks on public transportation, a mandate that legal experts considered well within the bounds of the agency’s charge to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Most of us understand the difference between a hotel ballroom and an airplane. A lot of this is about the authorities the CDC has. Even if they don’t think we need it at all, they would still want to make sure that we get clarity in court on the legalities of it. As a practical matter, and I know this is confusing if you’re getting on an airplane, it is your call, it’s up to you,” said Buttigieg to Fox’s “Special Report” with Bret Baier Wednesday night.

The CDC said late Wednesday that it had asked the Department of Justice to appeal the decision — a move the DOJ left up to the agency. That will put the issue before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Public health experts feel the role that the federal government plays in containing future epidemics will hinge on the outcome of the appeal.

President Biden’s top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will not attend Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called it a personal decision by Fauci. Biden still plans to attend the dinner and will speak before a crowd of more than two-thousand people. Psaki said Biden plans to wear a mask when he’s not addressing the gathering.

“That is (Fauci’s) personal assessment of his personal risk. I think we are moving into a phase where that is where a lot of the decision-making is going to lie. There are ups and downs and maybe there will be more. Generally, we’ve got fewer requirements for everyone and we’re at the point where it’s on you as a shopper and a traveler,” said Buttigieg.

Buttigieg says he is also dealing with supply chain issues. He says one thing the world can do right now is lower the cost of things like insulin, prescription drugs, and childcare.

“One of many things that is pushing prices upward is shipping costs. Anything we can do to smooth out any inefficiencies in the system is going to help. That’s why we’ve been working on long-term infrastructure investments and short-term improvements that are going to make a difference,” said Buttigieg.

On Thursday, President Biden said he is blaming “technical factors” for the nation’s economy shrinking in the first three months of the year. GDP growth declined 1.4% percent during the first quarter, after surging 6.9% percent over the final three months of last year.