‘LONG PAST TIME’: Abbott Applauds End of Mask Mandates on Public Transportation

Texas Governor Greg Abbott applauded U.S. federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s decision to block the Biden Administration’s public transportation mask mandates —now Americans won’t have to mask up on planes. Abbott says it’s “long past time.”

“BREAKING: Federal judge blocks mask mandate for public transportation. Great! It’s long past time to ditch masks on planes.”

According to Fox News, “the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, came in a case brought in Florida federal court by Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc. and frequent air travelers Ana Daza and Sarah Pope against the administration. Judge Mizelle determined that the mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act by being outside the scope of the CDC’s authority, was ‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious’ and not going through the required notice and comment period for federal rulemaking.”

The report continues…

Mizelle examined the section of the Public Health Services Act of 1944 that was the basis for the mandate.  That law allows the CDC “to make and enforce such regulations” deemed “necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States[.]” To achieve this, the law says that CDC can utilize “inspection, fumigation disinfection sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infect or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures[.]” The administration, the judge noted, has claimed that the mask mandate falls under “sanitation.”

The judge noted that one could view “sanitation” as being an active measure to clean or as a preventative measure to keep something from getting dirty or infected, but through an examination of the statutory language, she determined it was the former. 

“The context of [the statute] indicates that ‘sanitation’ and ‘other measures’ refer to measures that clean something, not ones that keep something clean,” Mizelle wrote. “Wearing a mask cleans nothing.”

The mandate was originally extended by the CDC until May 3rd, but masks are now optional effective immediately.