Federal judge strikes down mask mandates for planes and other forms of travel

Federal judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has struck down the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for planes and other forms of travel saying that the CDC has exceeded its authority and the implementation of the mandate violated administrative law. The report on this was written by Jack Phillips and was published by the NTD last April 18, 2022.

According to Mizelle, “At the time when the CDC issued the mandate, the COVID-19 pandemic had been ongoing for almost a year and COVID-19 cases were decreasing. This timing undercuts the CDC’s suggestion that its action was so urgent that a thirty-day comment period was contrary to the public interest. So too, the CDC’s delay in issuing the mandate further undercuts its position.”

In an interview with the Epoch Times, Brant Hadaway, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the mask mandate case said, “Before COVID, the CDC had really played more of a background role, a sort of advise and consent role to the state public health authorities. It had never before sort of come to the forefront of a public health situation and said we’re going to dictate, directly dictate how people can conduct themselves and how people can use their property…[but] when a federal agency, which is part of the executive branch of government, suddenly starts claiming newfound powers in a statute that has existed for decades, the courts are going to take a close look at that. And that’s what the courts have been doing.”

The ruling came after several major airline CEOs have petitioned US President Joe Biden to drop the CDC’s mask mandate.

Editor’s Note: This case is important for us here in the Philippines, especially since COVID statistics have been improving in recent weeks. For one, the Philippines’ COVID cases and deaths are at their lowest since December 2021.

Weekly COVID case numbers in the Philippines, March 2020 to April 20, 2022. Chart from the Department of Health.

Moreover, the Philippines’ vaccination rate has also increased and a majority of areas in the country have low COVID cases and deaths. As you can see from Image 2 below, the Philippines’ vaccine rate is nearing that of the US. If there is any time that the Philippine government can lift its mask mandate, it is now. [Especially as there are now a number of studies showing that masks, particularly cloth masks, are useless for pandemic control, see Study shows 90% of particles can pass through cloth masks making them useless for preventing COVID transmission, Finland study shows vaccines, universal masking, useless against Delta variant. Also, read Meta-study shows that masks are dangerous, German Neurologist: Oxygen deprivation due to face masks cause permanent neurological damage, US data show masks make no impact on COVID spread, Danish mask study now published: Masks do not reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection].

The Philippines is catching up with the US’ vaccination uptake.

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