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Friday, October 7, 2022

The United States Justice Department intends to appeal a court decision that struck down a travel mask regulation

Officials from the Justice Department said on Wednesday that they will file an appeal in an attempt to reverse a judge’s decision that struck down the federal mask requirement on aircraft, trains, and at airports.

CDC requested that the Justice Department intervene in an appeal of a ruling made by a federal court in Florida earlier this week. The notification came minutes after the CDC asked the Justice Department to intervene in the appeal.

A notice of appeal was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Tampa. It was announced Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it is ‘continuing its evaluation of whether an order mandating masking in the indoor transit corridor is required for the public health at this time.’

In the meanwhile, it was unclear if the Biden administration would seek an emergency stay from the appeals court in order to reinstate the mask rule on public transportation immediately. A temporary restraining order against the lower court’s decision would be a jarring experience for travellers and transportation personnel.

In the hours after Monday’s verdict, the majority of airlines and airports, as well as numerous public transportation networks and even ride-sharing business Uber, relaxed their mask-wearing rules.

Following the ruling by a federal court in Florida on Monday, airlines and airports were forced to quickly remove their rules that customers wear facial coverings when travelling by mass transportation. The Transportation Security Administration said on Monday that it would no longer enforce the face mask requirement for passengers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently extended the mask requirement, which was supposed to expire on Monday, until May 3 to give researchers more time to investigate the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which is currently responsible for the great majority of cases in the United States. However, the court’s judgement on Monday put a halt to that decision.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated it would continue to examine public health situations to decide if a requirement is still required. It said that it thinks the requirement is a ‘lawful order, clearly within the legal jurisdiction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to safeguard public health.’

According to a Justice Government spokesman, Anthony Coley, the department filed the appeal “in light of today’s determination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that an order mandating masking in the transit corridor remained required to safeguard the public health.”

In the aftermath of Monday’s verdict, Biden’s administration has issued a number of contradictory statements. When experts said that Americans should respect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines even if it was no longer required, Biden himself indicated that they had greater choice when it came to disguising up while travelling.

“It’s up to them,” President Joe Biden said during a visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Tuesday. Despite this, the White House continues to enforce facial coverings for individuals travelling with President Barack Obama on Air Force One, citing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement released Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Barack Obama’s, President Joe Biden is still recommending Americans to wear masks while travelling and that he had been “answering a question pretty literally” a day before.

“People are not legally required to wear masks,” she said after the court’s decision. “So, we’ve reached a moment in time when it’s up to people,” says the author, “and it’s their decision.” A dramatic decline in viral propagation has been seen in recent months in the United States, prompting the majority of states and towns to remove mask requirements after a winter spike caused by the omicron variety that resulted in record hospitalizations.

However, an increase in hospitalizations in other Northeast cities has occurred in recent weeks, prompting Philadelphia to reinstate its mask requirement.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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