The Joe Biden administration is still fighting to restore a federal mask mandate for air travel, even after the president declared in September that the COVID-19 pandemic was “over” And airlines had already lifted their mandate in April.
It’s been almost a year since airline passengers were made mandatory to wear masks while flying.
However, the Justice Department is seeking to re-enforce the injunction and is arguing the case on Tuesday before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The fight for face coverings on flights is not popular among travel industry groups. Airlines have also faced numerous in-flight issues during the pandemic, with passengers refusing to wear face coverings, and a series of issues during and after the Christmas season leading to massive delays and cancellations. After that the carrier cannot raise any further disputes at this time.
Biden administration fighting in court to restore mask requirement for domestic air travel
Passengers they select are still welcome, and sometimes even encouraged, to wear masks on flights.
Republican lawmakers were quick to point it out.
“If you want to wear a mask on an airplane, no one’s going to stop you,” Florida Rep. Brian Mast tweeted on Tuesday. ‘But we are not going back on the mandate. period.’
Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn posted: ‘Joe Biden has said the pandemic is over. However, his administration is still arguing in court to reinstate the mask mandate.
A federal judge in Florida struck down Biden’s federal mask mandate on April 18, 2022. The decision almost immediately prompted all major US airlines to drop their mask requirements for domestic flights.
Passengers celebrate when an airline mask mandate was lifted in April following a ruling by a judge in Florida
But the new court challenge could threaten to undo nearly six months since Biden declared the pandemic.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden said during an interview on 60 Minutes in September. ‘We still have the problem of COVID. We are still working hard on this.
For such an important statement from the US President, it was said lightly and carelessly.
Walking through the Detroit Auto Show for his pre-recorded CBS interview, Biden said: “If you notice, nobody’s wearing a mask, everybody seems to be in pretty good shape.”
Biden said in a September interview with 60 Minutes that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘over’
Despite this statement and others welcoming the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president quietly extended the national emergency declaration last week until April.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said, “The Department believes that the order requiring the use of face coverings in the transportation corridor is a lawful exercise of the authority that Congress has provided CDC to protect public health.” Statement at the time of April report. decision.
“This is an important authority that the department will continue to work to preserve,” the statement said.