A federal judge in Florida has struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for airplanes, buses, trains and other modes of public transportation, calling it “unlawful.”
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Monday ruled that the mandate exceeded the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its implementation violated administrative law, Fox News reported.
In her 59-page ruling, Judge Mizelle determined that the mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act by being outside the scope of the CDC’s authority, was “arbitrary” and “capricious” and not going through the required notice and comment period for federal rulemaking.
The judge concluded that that the use of the word “sanitation” in the 1944 statute that gives the federal government the authority to combat communicable diseases was limited to “measures that clean something.”
“Wearing a mask cleans nothing,” she wrote. “At most, it traps virus droplets. But it neither ‘sanitizes’ the person wearing the mask nor ‘sanitizes’ the conveyance.”
Mizelle also noted that “the CDC required mask wearing as a measure to keep something clean – explaining that it limits the spread of COVID-19 through prevention, but never contending that it actively destroys or removes it.”
The White House on Monday expressed disappointment in the decision.
The regime issued the mandate for adults and children as young as 2-years-old on Feb. 1, 2021. It has been set to expire a number of times, including just last week, when the CDC extended the mask mandate for public transportation to May 3.
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said last week that part of the reason for the extension was because of COVID-19 cases are rising.
“We bring a lot of people together in a closed setting for a prolonged period of time, and not everyone has the option to not travel,” Murthy said on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio’s Doctor Radio Reports. “Because it’s not necessarily an optional setting for people and because, again, folks are together for a long period of time, that’s why the CDC has leaned into being cautious there and recommending that people continue to wear those masks.”
However, more than 150 comparative studies and articles on masks have shown that surgical and cloth masks have no impact on controlling the transmission of Covid-19 virus. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that face masks can actually be harmful.
“Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate,” tweeted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, following the ruling.
“Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.”
Great to see a federal judge in Florida follow the law and reject the Biden transportation mask mandate. Both airline employees and passengers deserve to have this misery end.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 18, 2022
The judge’s decision will be welcomed by the airline CEOs who sent Biden a letter in March calling on him to end the mask mandate because it was “no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment.”
CEOs of Alaska Air, Atlas Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and Airlines for America signed the letter saying “it makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks.”
In response to the ruling Monday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “this is obviously a disappointing decision. The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit.” She told reporters that the Department of Homeland Security and the CDC were reviewing the decision, and added: “Of course, the Department of Justice would make any would make any determinations about litigation.”
Jen Psaki on Judge Mizelle striking down the Biden administration's mask mandate on planes and public transit: "[T]his is obviously a disappointing decision. The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit…[DOJ] would make any determinations about litigation." pic.twitter.com/EPKxurjXpN
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 18, 2022
United Airlines has reportedly dropped its mask mandate:
United Airlines announces that effective immediately they will no longer be enforcing the mask mandate on their flights anywhere in the country.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 18, 2022
“I was just standing in line in Houston, waiting to board when they announced it,” commented J.T. Thompson on Twitter. “More than half immediately took their masks off. You can almost hear cheers.”
Pilot announces removal of mask mandate mid flight 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/3CqC1CIJqj
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 19, 2022
BREAKING: Delta, Alaska, and United Airlines will no longer require masks on flights.
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) April 18, 2022
In Southwest Airlines’ announcement that ended their mask mandate, they don’t claim masks work. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/MAF3XtcdJi
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) April 19, 2022