Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed his displeasure with the Biden administration on Wednesday, condemning the White House’s decision to prolong the nation’s public transit mask mandate. On Twitter, DeSantis blasted President Joe Biden for extending a mask mandate that is more spectacle than science. “Biden’s decision to extend the transportation mask rule just adds to the pain that passengers and flight attendants are already experiencing. This isn’t based on evidence, but rather COVID drama “DeSantis penned the piece.
He said, “This is Biden’s version of keeping the beating going until morale improves. I’m delighted Florida and other states are going to court to challenge this requirement.” A total of 21 states sued the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 29 in an attempt to stop the federal COVID-19 rule, which requires masks for airplane travel and other forms of public transportation.
The case is the latest judicial challenge to the transportation mask rules, which were first enacted in February 2021 and apply to airports, buses, trains, transit hubs, and even ride-sharing cars like Uber and Lyft. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia joined Florida in the complaint on the same March day.
On Tuesday, a total of 21 states filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an attempt to overturn the federal COVID-19 regulation, which requires masks for airplane travel and other forms of public transit. The case is the latest judicial challenge to the transportation mask rules, which were first enacted in February 2021 and apply to airports, buses, trains, transit hubs, and even ride-sharing cars like Uber and Lyft. On April 18, the existing mask mandate, which was adopted by the Biden administration, will expire.
“You have this federal rule that was just renewed that still requires individuals to wear masks on aircraft,” DeSantis added. “It’s not based on any scientific principles.” One illustration of the mandate’s hypocrisy, according to DeSantis, is how one hypothetical airline passenger may munch peanuts slowly over the whole of a two-hour ride without ever putting on a mask. Another person, possibly one or two rows over, would be required by law to wear a mask for the duration of the journey if they elected not to eat or drink anything.
This federal regulation “has forced the airlines to enforce this,” according to DeSantis, who acknowledges that the bulk of recent clashes on planes or at airport gates have been caused by the mask mandate. “There were a lot of rowdy passengers.” Since the commencement of the COVID-19 epidemic in March 2020, according to DeSantis, Florida has maintained No. 1 in U.S. tourism. Other states, on the other hand, would have even more tourism success if the federal mask law didn’t exist. “We need to let people live their lives,” DeSantis stated, before adding, “If they didn’t have [the two-hour mask rule], more people would want to travel.”
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A person seated one seat to the right or left, on the other hand, would be required to wear a mask for the duration of the journey if they opted not to eat or drink anything. This federal law “has forced the airlines to enforce this,” DeSantis added, recognizing that the bulk of recent conflicts on planes or at airport gates had been caused by the mask regulation. “There were a lot of rowdy passengers.”
The governor also won a federal trial court ruling on the issue, only for the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to rule in favor of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which is the parent agency of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which drafted the orders governing vaccinations and other safety practices. Then, on Friday evening, a remarkable turn of events occurred: a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit quickly altered its judgment. The tribunal revoked its previous ruling without explanation and accepted the trial judge’s injunction prohibiting the feds from implementing the CDC’s standards.
Another legal action, brought by Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, is still pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, contesting a state statute prohibiting “vaccine passports” – documentation certifying that passengers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Norwegian argued in a July 13 complaint that it intended to follow the CDC’s orders to protect its passengers and crew, and that the state’s position was a “anomalous, misguided intrusion” that threatened to “sabotage NCLH’s careful planning and force it to cancel or hobble upcoming cruises, thereby jeopardizing and impairing passengers’ experiences and inflicting irreparable harm of vast dimensions.”
The 11th Circuit’s 180-degree turn came after Attorney General Ashley Moody submitted a brief requesting the Supreme Court to overturn an earlier panel finding permitting the CDC order to be enforced. The state abandoned its Supreme Court suit after receiving what it desired from the 11th Circuit. The US Department of Health and Human Services acknowledged the setback in a statement to the cruise industry on Saturday. The government did not remove its advisory, but it stated that the previous requirements were now “nonbinding suggestions for cruise ships arriving in, located inside, or departing from a port in Florida.” However, it stated that ships must still report diseases and deaths, as well as adhere to public health inspections and cleanliness requirements, as well as other public-health safeguards.
The CDC has said that it would not guarantee for the safety of ships that do not satisfy these requirements. “As a result, CDC cannot affirm that the cruise ship operator’s health and safety practices comply with CDC’s criteria for safeguarding passengers, crew, port workers, and communities against COVID-19’s public health concerns,” the agency stated. The 11th Circuit has yet to explain its reasons for the reversal — it hasn’t issued an opinion — despite the fact that its decision refers to a Supreme Court precedent controlling stays in immigration matters, not public health, as Nova Southeastern’s Jarvis pointed out.