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US Gov’t Appeals Court Ruling Lifting Mask Mandate

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The United States government is appealing a court ruling that controversially lifted a federal mask mandate on public transport earlier this week, the Justice Department said Wednesday. Online News

After the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s top health body, assessed that masks remain “necessary to protect the public health, the Department has filed a notice of appeal,” spokesman Anthony Coley said.

A US federal judge on Monday struck down the Covid-19 mask mandate, stating that it exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority.

Policymakers in Washington had decided just the prior week to extend it through May 3.

Although the public has a “strong interest” in combating the spread of Covid, the mask mandate “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority,” and it “failed to adequately explain its decisions,” US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida said in her decision.

Multiple major airlines subsequently dropped mask requirements on domestic flights and some international flights, while ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft as well as passenger rail Amtrak additionally announced an end to mask mandates.

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When Covid-19 first arrived in the United States in 2020, masks swiftly became one of the defining political issues of the pandemic.

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The mask policy across the country has been hodge podge, often left in the hands of local officials. But throughout the federal government has stuck to the mandate on planes, trains and buses.

That has created major headaches for transport staff, especially on planes, who have had to deal with passengers reluctant to mask up — some of whom have been violent.

The Federal Aviation Administration, the agency in charge of US air transport safety, has received 744 reports of mask-related incidents so far this year.

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The government’s appeal could create further headaches after the mandate was lifted, and possibly create tensions for travellers if it is reinstated.

The CDC “continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings,” it said in a statement.

“As we have said before, wearing masks is most beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as the transportation corridor.”

The health agency said it would continue to assess the situation to determine whether such a requirement remains necessary in the future.

The United States is currently experiencing another increase in the number of daily Covid-19 cases, linked to the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.

Polling suggests continued majority support for indoor mask mandates, but with a clear minority opposed.

A YouGov America poll conducted April 18 found 63 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” support US government requirements for masks on public transport.


© Agence France-Presse. All rights are reserved.

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Early on, in 2020, Sweden’s leading epidemiologist, Dr. Anders Tagnell, maintained that face coverings give people a false sense of security.

He said that that the mask does little or nothing to prevent the transmission of viral particles, which are tiny enough to travel through the pores of masks.

Compared to New York, which, at the time, adopted some of the strictest mask rules anywhere, Sweden’s number of virus cases per 100,000 was less than that of New York.

In addition, virologists say that the accumulation of bacteria, carbon dioxide and moisture can result in bacterial pneumonia.

In 1918, when mask rules were adopted by many cities in the US, a number of people became ill not from the Spanish flu.

Rather, they became ill from bacterial pneumonia.

In 2007 OSHA issued an advisory to building contractors.

The construction often resorts to the use of masks in situations in which sawdust particles and other similar particles become airborne.

The 2007 advisory warned that wearing masks for longer than brief periods of time could result in reduction in oxygen, causing headaches, dizziness and, in some instances, fainting.

Those with a history of heart disease are more likely to develop instances of cardiac arrest after wearing masks for long periods of time.

A number of studies, including the CDC’s own study, which was published in February 2020, indicated that masks likely fail to prevent the transmission of viral particles.

For example, the CDC study of February 2020 concluded that there had appeared no difference overall between situations in which participants had been wearing face coverings on a regular basis and those who had not been wearing masks, in the context of the transmission of viral particles.

The study concerned the influenza virus.

Other studies came to similar conclusions.

In the realm of law, in the context of Constitutional law, when a rule, mandate or law infringes on fundamental & basic rights, such as those found in the Bill of Rights, the state, city or federal government issuing those rules or laws is required to prove a compelling and essential reason that justifies the issuance of the rule or law.

In such instances in law, the government has the burden of proving that the law or rule has a compelling reason to justify its continued enforcement.

In other instances, when a rule or law does not infringe on a basic right, still the government must have reasonable basis for issuing the rule or law.

A number of critics have said that the mask mandate fails, whether one is considering the stricter standard of the compelling reason or the lesser standard of the reasonable basis.

Although AFP referred to Yougov’s poll, a number of news reports indicate that on air flights when passengers were told that the mask rule was at an end following the court decision, witnesses said that almost everyone aboard cheered.

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