This is another clear-cut case of why elections will always matter. A Donald Trump-appointed Florida judge has done away with the Biden Administrations’ federal mask mandate.
As COVID-19 cases are back on the rise due to the BA.2 Omicron variant, US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle decided the one rule-keeping travelers safe as they traveled during an ongoing pandemic was unlawful. Her reasoning, as to be expected, is completely head a**. According to Kimball, the mask mandate “exceeded the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and because its implementation violated administrative law,” CNN reports.
In her 59-page ruling, she compared the mask mandate to “detention and quarantine” and seemingly doesn’t know the difference between sanitization and preventing the spread of an airborne virus.
“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps,” In response to the ridiculous decision, an official for the Biden administration said on Monday (Apr.18). “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”
“As a result, the Mask Mandate is best understood not as sanitation but as an exercise of the CDC’s power to conditionally release individuals to travel despite concerns that they may spread a communicable disease (and to detain or partially quarantine those who refuse),” she wrote. “But the power to conditionally release and detain is ordinarily limited to individuals entering the United States from a foreign country.”
We would love to add this “judge” was one of the 22 judges out of 1,400 nominees who were rated as “not qualified” to sit on a bench and render decisions.
The decision quickly led to confusion among travelers and celebration in MAGA land, who saw this as a moment to “own the libs,” declaring it a victory for “freedom.” Florida’s bonehead “Governor” Ron DeSantis celebrated the decision on Twitter, “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.”
Tweets featuring videos of pilots and flight attendants celebrating and sharing the news of the mask mandate being struck down and happily collecting masks to be thrown away quickly began making their rounds. If you must know, yes, they were white, so it’s safe to assume what side of the political aisle they are on.
Oh, and we are equal opportunity shade suppliers here, so there was even this Black singing flight attendant happily collecting masks to be thrown away. Just know his invite to all the cookouts has been rescinded.
Other companies like Uber and Lyft have also done away with company mask mandates announcing drivers and passengers are no longer required to wear masks during trips.
New York’s MTA, the largest mass transportation in North America, will keep its mask mandate for passengers riding the train and buses.
This is a mess. We shall see how it will affect travel going forward. Some medical experts believe the judge using her MAGA-appointed powers to lift the mask mandate will lead to sick airline employees and flights being grounded.
You can peep reactions to the news in the gallery below.
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty