The DOJ (Department of Justice) announced in a press release on Tuesday that they may appeal a federal ruling removing the mask mandate for public transit if the CDC determines that a “mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health”.
The CDC extended the travel mask mandate last week to go through May 3 giving them time to monitor the spread of the newest variant BA.2 omicron subvariant. Which they claim now makes up more than 85% of all U.S. cases.
Per the CDC website:
Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the U.S. The CDC Mask Order remains in effect while CDC assesses the potential impact of the rise of cases on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity. TSA will extend the security directive and emergency amendment for 15 days, through May 3, 2022.
Secondly, CDC will update its Travel Health Notice system for international destinations. To help the public understand when the highest level of concern is most urgent, this new system will reserve Level 4 travel health notices for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, or healthcare infrastructure collapse. Levels 3, 2, and 1 will continue to be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts. The new level system will be effective April 18, 2022.
CDC uses Travel Health Notices to alert travelers and other audiences to health threats around the world and advise on how to protect themselves before, during, and after travel. With this new configuration, travelers will have a more actionable alert for when they should not travel to a certain destination (Level 4), regardless of vaccination status, until we have a clearer understanding of the COVID-19 situation at that destination.
CDC will continue to monitor COVID-19 levels, in our communities, nationally, and abroad to provide the most up-to-date guidance to keep travelers safe and healthy.
But Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the mask mandate that was still imposed on travelers was unlawful.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra had suggested on Tuesday that such an appeal is likely.
“We are right now in the process of deciding, and we likely will appeal that ruling. Stay tuned,” Becerra said at a news conference with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
“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,” DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement Tuesday evening. “That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve.”
“If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the DOJ will appeal the district court’s decision,” Coley said.
It could be days or weeks before the CDC issues an assessment and the DOJ makes a final decision on appealing the ruling, which came on Monday and resulted in confusion and an abrupt end to masking on domestic flights and other public modes of transportation.
But a federal judge in Florida struck down the CDC mandate on Monday, arguing that the federal health agency exceeded its statutory authority.
The Transportation Security Administration stopped enforcing the mandate hours later.
The White House has urged Americans to continue to wear masks on public transportation, though President Biden said earlier Tuesday it is ultimately up to individuals to decide to wear masks on planes.
The decision to possibly appeal the federal ruling comes after the DOJ spent much of Monday determining if they would fight back and continue to attempt to muzzle the American people. Even after many airlines and public transport have already decided that masks were optional after the court ruling.
If the 11th Circuit upholds the ruling striking down the mandate, it would be a precedent for all the other federal courts in that circuit, which covers the Southeast. A Supreme Court ruling upholding the decision to strike down the mandate would make the judge’s conclusions about CDC authority binding nationwide.
According to an Axios poll from March:
More Americans are getting out of the home and are less fearful of the coronavirus.
- Half of Americans (48%) report feeling hopeful today, at levels last seen a year ago during the start of the vaccination campaign.
- A third of Americans (32%) report that they have already returned to pre-COVID routines. Another 23% expect to do so within the next six months. Only a quarter (24%) of Americans think it will be a year or longer before things return to normal, down from 44% a month ago.
- Over three in five Americans (61%) report going out to eat in the last week with a similar amount (59%) report seeing friends or relatives. The number of Americans reporting that they are social distancing (36%) is the lowest since Summer 2021.
- Only a third of Americans (33%) say returning to pre-pandemic life is a large or moderate risk right now, down from 56% a month ago in early February.
- A quarter of Americans (26%) report wearing a mask at all times when leaving the home, down from 43% in early Feb.
If the DOJ does in fact appeal the Federal court ruling will this be the final straw that sees Americans finally saying enough is enough? Our overreaching government has continued to reach and attempt to take away our freedoms day by day.