A Florida court ruling strikes down the Biden administration’s Covid-19 order requiring face coverings on public transportation
A Florida judge has struck down the Covid-19 mandate requiring Americans to wear masks on planes and other public transportation, saying President Joe Biden’s administration overstepped its authority and failed to properly justify its decision.
Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the US District Court in Tampa delivered her decision just five days following an extension by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to its transport mask mandate. The original order for the mask was canceled and she sent it back to CDC. “further proceedings.”
“The court concludes that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking . . .,”In her ruling, the judge stated. “Accordingly, the court vacates the mandate and remands it to the CDC.”
Jen Psaki (White House Press Secretary) spoke out to reporters and said that the White House had taken this decision. “disappointing.”
Biden demanded mandatory mask-wearing, in an executive order he signed one day after assuming office in January 2021. Mizelle claimed that two weeks later the CDC had published their transportation mask mandate without allowing public input or adequately explaining why.
Executives in the airline industry have called to end the mask order. This is at least partially because of the increase in violent passenger behaviour. “I think lifting the mask mandate will be one step towards reestablishing civility and normal behavioral patterns on board the aircraft as well as in the airports,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed BastianAccording to the Washington Post, Monday.
More than 1100 cases involving passengers on unruly airlines have been reported to the Federal Aviation Administration this year. 65% of these incidents were related to wearing masks. More than 1,000 of last year’s cases were serious enough to necessitate an FAA investigation, compared with just 146 in 2019. Many of last year’s incidents were so bad that the FAA imposed fines exceeding $10,000, including a passenger who was ordered to pay more than $26,000 after allegedly punching a flight attendant.
Many states and localities in the US have removed their restrictions on public mask wearing. The CDC said last week’s extension of the transportation mask mandate was needed to give the agency time to assess the impact of a recent uptick in Covid-19 infections on hospitalizations.