Justice Department appellate judge decision to strike down travel mask mandate

The US Department of Justice is filing an appeal to overturn a federal judge’s decision to strike down the travel mask mandate.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked the Department of Justice to appeal the decision made by Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Monday, which lifted the federal mask mandate for airlines. , airports, buses, trains and more.

“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing review announced last week, CDC has asked the Department of Justice to proceed with an appeal at the Health Freedom Defense Fund,” the CDC said in a statement. public statement. “It is the continuing assessment of the CDC that, at this time, an order requiring the use of masks in the interior transportation corridor remains necessary for public health. CDC believes this is a legal order, within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.”

The CDC and the Biden Administration had planned to extend the mask order through May 3, as the effects of the Omicron BA.2 variant of Coronavirus were being monitored and studied.

The judge rescinded that extension and allowed the original expiration date of the order to be processed.

“The CDC recommended continuing the order for an additional time, two weeks, so that it can assess the latest science and fulfill its responsibility to protect the American people,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press conference. press conference on Monday. “So this is obviously a disappointing decision. The CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask on public transportation.”

On the same day as the judge’s ruling, several major airlines, airports, railways and even ride-sharing companies announced that they would no longer require the use of masks.

The mask requirement for public transportation had been in place since January 29, 2021.

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