CDC asks US to appeal ruling that invalidated plane, train and bus mask mandate

The Justice Department is filing a lawsuit seeking to overturn a judge’s order that struck down the federal mask mandate on planes, trains and travel centers, officials said Wednesday.

It came minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Justice Department to appeal a Florida federal judge’s ruling earlier this week.

A notice of appeal has been filed in federal court in Tampa.

The CDC said in a statement Wednesday that it is its “continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the domestic transportation corridor remains necessary for public health.”

The CDC said it will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine if a warrant remains necessary. He said he believed the warrant was “a lawful order, well within the CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.”

Meanwhile, a new poll shows a majority of Americans continue to support a mask requirement for people traveling by plane and other shared transportation. At Dallas Love Field on Tuesday, reactions from travelers were mixed. Some were delighted, others were indifferent. Some kept their mask on, even though they no longer had to.

In the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, 56% of respondents favor requiring people on planes, trains and public transportation to wear masks, compared to 24% opposed and 20% who say they are neither supportive nor favorable. opposite.

Interviews for the poll were conducted last Thursday through Monday, shortly before a federal judge in Florida struck down the nationwide mask mandate on planes and public transportation. Airlines and airports immediately dropped their requirements that passengers wear face coverings. The Transportation Security Administration has stopped enforcing the mask requirement.

The poll shows a wide partisan divide on the issue. Among Democrats, 80% support it and only 5% oppose it. Among Republicans, 45% are against against 33% for, 22% saying neither.

Continued public support for mandating masks on transport comes even as concerns over COVID-19 are among their lowest points in the past two years. Only 20% now say they are very or extremely worried that they or a family member will be infected. That’s down slightly since 25% said the same just a month ago and down from 36% in December and January when the omicron variant was all the rage. Another 33% now say they are somewhat worried, while 48% say they are not worried at all.

Count Betty Harp, of Leitchfield, Kentucky, among the “very worried” and not because she turns 84 next month. She said she looked after her big house and yard on her own, did a lot of canning and was in “fantastic health for my age”. But she has lost many friends and family to the virus, which has killed nearly a million people in the United States.

“I know COVID is still here. It’s still there,” said Harp, who described herself as a Republican-leaning independent. “I think we should all be wearing masks for a bit longer.”

The latest poll also shows that around half of people support requiring masks for workers who interact with the public, compared to around 3 in 10 who oppose it. Support is similar to requiring people at crowded public events such as concerts, sporting events and movies to wear masks.

There, too, there are major partisan divisions. Seventy-two percent of Democrats favor requiring people attending crowded public events to wear masks, while among Republicans, 25% favor and 49% oppose. The numbers are similar for requiring masks for workers in contact with the public.

Employees are divided on whether those who work in person at their own workplace should be required to wear masks. 34% say they are in favor of this requirement, 33% oppose it and 33% are neither in favor nor opposed. Among working Democrats, 48% are for and 18% are against. Among Republican workers, 53% are against and 18% are for.

Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the mask mandate messaging would have been more effective if it required N95 or KN95 respirators, which are more effective at preventing transmission. of the virus.

“But you’ve actually created a real challenge with yourself with the public now being selective if not outright angry at these mandates,” said Osterholm, who added that he would continue to wear his N95 mask on planes.

Airlines companies

Love Field travelers hail removal of flight masking rule with relief and skepticism

Faces were on full display for most passengers taking flights departing from Dallas Love Field on Tuesday or landing after trips from Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, a day after a federal judge overturned the mask mandate face of the Biden administration and the White House let the health precaution fade into the history of COVID-19. Still, some still wore masks, but most, even those who said they were generally in favor of masking, said they were simply over the mandate.

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