Judge overturns Biden’s face mask mandate for planes and trains

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden participates in a conference call with governors affected by a snowstorm in the Midwest and Southwest on February 16, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. |

A federal judge in Florida has blocked a face mask mandate for airlines and trains, prompting the Biden administration to stop enforcing the order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the United States District Court for the Intermediate District of Florida, Division of Tampa issued a ruling on Monday voiding the warrant and returning it to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

“The Court finds that the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for the agency’s rulemaking under the [Administrative Procedure Act]wrote Mizelle, a Trump appointee.

The Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF), an organization that was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, along with two Florida residents, celebrated the ruling against the face mask mandate.

“Without any public comment or serious scientific rationale, CDC bureaucrats have imposed a broad travel mask mandate applying to all Americans over the age of 2,” HFDF President Leslie Manookian said in a statement Monday. a statement.

“There are laws that set limits on federal agencies to protect individual liberty and the Court clearly found that the CDC exceeded those limits. Unelected officials cannot do what they want with our personal freedoms simply because they claim good motives and a desirable goal.

At the daily White House press briefing on Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki called the decision “disappointing” as they had hoped to extend the term for at least the next two weeks.

“The CDC has recommended continuing with the order for an additional period — two weeks — so that it can evaluate the latest scientific data consistent with its responsibility to protect the American people,” Psaki said.

“So right now the Department of Homeland Security, who would implement, and the CDC are reviewing the decision. And, of course, the Department of Justice would make all decisions regarding litigation. »

After the Biden administration agreed to stop enforcing the mandate, major airlines and national rail line Amtrak announced they too were relaxing their mask requirements, according to Reuters.

In January 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13998, which required the wearing of face masks in accordance with CDC guidelines in various public transportation entities, including airports, commercial aircraft, trains, city buses and sea ​​ferries.

“Science-based public health measures are essential to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by travelers to the United States and those entering the country from abroad,” the statement said. arrangement.

“As a result, to save lives and allow all Americans, including the millions employed in the transportation industry, to travel and work safely, it is my administration’s policy to implement these measures. public health in accordance with CDC guidelines on public modes of transportation. and at ports of entry into the United States.

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