Biden administration wants to bring mask mandates BACK onto flights – months after president insisted the pandemic was over
- Biden’s DOJ argued in court Tuesday to reinstate mask mandates for air travel
- Comes after nearly a year without the requirements for domestic travel
- A Florida judge ruled in April to lift the federal mandates
- Biden also declared in a September interview the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘over’
Joe Biden‘s administration is still fighting to reinstate a federal mask mandate for air travel – even after the president declared in September that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘over’, and airlines already stripped their mandates back in April.
It’s been nearly a year since airline passengers have been required to wear masks when flying.
The Justice Department is looking to reimplement the mandates, however, and is arguing the case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The fight to require face-coverings on flights is not popular among travel industry groups. Airlines also faced several in-flight issues during the pandemic with passengers who refused to mask-up – and the companies can’t afford any more controversy right now after a series of issues led to mass delays and cancellations during and following the holiday season.
The Biden administration is fighting in court to reinstate the mask mandate for domestic air travel
Passengers are still welcome, and sometimes even encouraged, to wear masks on flights – a fact that Republican lawmakers were quick to acknowledge.
‘If you want to wear a mask on a plane, no one’s stopping you,’ tweeted Florida Representative Brian Mast on Tuesday. ‘But we’re not going back to mandates. Period.’
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennesse posted: ‘Joe Biden has said that the pandemic is over. Yet 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 ruling almost immediately led to all major U.S. airlines lifting their mask requirements for domestic flights.
Passengers celebrated when the airline mask mandate was lifted in April 2022 following a ruling by a judge in Florida
But the new court challenge could threaten to undo that nearly six months after Biden declared that the pandemic was over.
‘The pandemic is over,’ Biden said during a 60 Minutes interview in September. ‘We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it.’
While walking through the Detroit Auto Show for his pre-taped CBS interview, Biden said: ‘If you notice, no one’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 lauding an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, the president last week quietly extended the national emergency declaration through April.
‘The Department continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health,’ the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement at the time of the April ruling.
‘That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve,’ the statement added.