On Monday, a federal judge in Florida rescinded the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal mandate for public transport that requires a federal mask. Summary judgment was granted to the Health Freedom Defense Fund Inc. which had challenged this mandate.
Kathryn Kimball Mizelle was the U.S. District Court Judge. She was appointed by President Donald Trump to the bench. Mizelle ruled that the mandate “exceeded CDC’s statutory power, improperly invoked good cause exceptions to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explicate its decisions.” Mizelle concluded that “the Court declares illegal and vacates The Mask Mandate.”
The judge remanded the mandate to CDC for “further proceedings compatible with this order”.
Although it is not known when the CDC will remove the mandate, I don’t think it would surprise me if public transport users start to take advantage of the ruling and throw their masks away immediately. The day after Biden’s State of the Union address, I flew out of Orlando. It was the day that the mandate to remove masks from public transportation had been lifted. Around one-third of those I saw were not wearing masks at the airport that day. (Let me know if you are traveling today by commenting below.
Biden extended the mandate twice since his State of the Union Address. The most recent was last week when he directed that the masking continues until at minimum May 3.
Jen Psaki, Jen’s press secretary at the time, stated that they wanted to give more time to evaluate the potential impact of the increase in severe disease cases on hospitalizations, deaths, and the capacity of the healthcare system. They will be able to determine the next steps after this period of two weeks.
Although the CDC has yet to comment on the ruling it will be a welcome surprise to all travelers as well as airport staff, flight attendants, and other public transit workers, who are likely sick to death because they are the enforcers.