After being asked about the lifting of pandemic-era border measure Title 42, which allows the easier removal of illegal migrants from the US, Biden began discussing the lifting of airplane mask mandates instead.
During a press conference on Thursday, Biden was asked by a reporter about whether the White House is considering delaying the lifting of Title 42, which is controlled by the Centers for Disease Control, according to the White House.
Instead of answering her question, Biden instead began talking about his administration's plans to appeal the recent striking down of the federal airplane mask mandates.
"On Title 42, sir," the reporter began, "are you delaying lifting Title 42?"
"No," Biden replied. "What I'm considering is continuing to hear from my–first of all, there's gonna be an appeal by the Justice Department, because as a matter of principle, we wanna be in a position where, if in fact it is strongly concluded by the scientists that we need Title 42, that we be able to do that."
"But," he continued, "there has been no decision on extending Title 42."
On April 1, the Biden administration announced that it would be terminating Title 42 on May 23. The policy was put in place by former president Trump at the outset of COVID-19 as a public health measure. It allowed border guards to immediately send migrants back to their countries of origin if they were deemed to pose a risk to the spread of contagious disease to the United States.
The policy Biden was speaking about appealing is the federal mask mandate for public transit, which was struck down by a Florida judge on Monday. The CDC asked the DOJ to appeal the ruling, as Biden alluded to in his response during Thursday's press conference.
The CDC has said both that it's time to lift pandemic-measure Title 42 for illegal migrants, and that it's not time to lift mask mandates for Americans flying domestically within the US.