Enjoy our faster App experience

Covid-19: US judge overturns mask mandate for public transport

The CDC recently extended the requirement to wear face coverings until May 3 amid a rise in infections



By AFP

Published: Mon 18 Apr 2022, 11:19 PM

A US federal judge on Monday struck down the Covid-19 mask mandate for public transportation imposed by the administration of President Joe Biden.

US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida said the mask mandate exceeds the statutory authority of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The mandate requiring face masks on airplanes, the subway, trains, buses, taxis and other forms of public transportation was recently extended by the CDC until May 3 amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

US airlines and a number of Republican lawmakers have called for an end to the mask mandate, which was issued by the CDC on February 3, 2021, shortly after Biden took office.

Mizelle, an appointee of former Republican president Donald Trump, issued her ruling in a lawsuit filed in July 2021 by a conservative non-profit organisation called the Health Freedom Defense Fund and two individual plaintiffs.

Although the public has a “strong interest” in combating the spread of Covid, the judge said, the mask mandate “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority,” and it “failed to adequately explain its decisions.”

ALSO READ:

“Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the Court declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate,” Mizelle said in a 59-page ruling.

There was no immediate comment from the White House or the Justice Department, which could potentially appeal the ruling.


More news from coronavirus