DOJ Appeals Face Mask Lawsuit, Meaning Mandate Could Come Back


The Justice Department announced their plans to appeal on social media, after it was formally requested by the CDC on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.


Request Comes “To Protect CDC’s Public Health Authority”

After over a year in effect across multiple extensions, a U.S. District Court in Florida knocked down the national transportation face mask mandate as the result of a lawsuit filed by the Health Freedom Defense Fund and two other individuals. Hours after the decision, every major U.S. carrier announced they would no longer require face coverings on flights, while the Transportation Security Administration said they wouldn’t enforce the previous CDC order.


One day after the decision, the Justice Department said they disagreed with the decision, but would only formally appeal the order at the recommendation of the CDC. By Wednesday, the CDC said face coverings are still needed to protect travelers – especially in tightly confined spaces like aircraft and airports.


“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al.,” the CDC said in a statement, as published by The Hill. “It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health.”


The decision to appeal comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the U.S. According to the CDC, 85% of new infections among Americans are attributed to the Omicron BA.2 subvariant. As of April 19, 2022, the agency notes that new infections continue to trend upward, with the seven-day moving average cases rising to over 40,000.


The Justice Department will appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. As of press time, a formal case filing has not appeared in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.


Airlines Continue to Welcome Customers Without Masks

While the decision is under appeal, airlines are continuing to market the safety of flights for flyers who no longer wish to wear a face covering. On Twitter, United Airlines shared a short video explaining the benefits of HEPA air filters aboard flights “whether you choose to wear a mask or not.”




Feature image courtesy: Daniel Norris via Unsplash

Source: frugal travel guy

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