(John Ransom, Headline USA) Despite objections from airlines and travelers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has arbitrarily decided to extend its in-flight mask mandate for at least 15 days.
“Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions – including the international predeparture testing requirement and the federal mask mandate – that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” said a letter sent to Biden by 11 of the country’s top airline executives.
The health agency’s decision to double-down comes as fewer people now regard COVID-19 as a top health threat, with more recent strains of the virus having appeared to mutate into less deadlier variants.
Even as panic-monngers continue to warn of new threats, the number of COVID cases in the United States has declined to the lowest levels since June 2021, and the general lethality of the new COVID variants is also declining.
CDC is painting themselves into a corner, extending travel mask mandates. CDC will have to use the same criteria in the fall &in perpetuity to be consistent
Instead CDC should advise on indiv risk & stop futile Zero-Covid policies for an inevitable virus.https://t.co/BfZ4S4ViuI
— Marty Makary MD, MPH (@MartyMakary) April 13, 2022
Mandatory masking, meanwhile, has left tempers frayed while in the air, according to statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Of the 394 incidents recorded by the airlines in flight, since Jan. 1, 255 were related to mandatory masking, according to a WRAL analysis of FAA data.
By contrast, between 1995 and 2020 there were on average 182 incidents recorded in flight, according to the data.
In 2021, there were 1,081 incidents—a 500% increase—according to the FAA.
Republican lawmakers last month announced their plan to file suit to end the mandates, the Kansas Reflector reported.
Since then, Republican attorneys general in 21 states announced that they, too were suing the federal government to end the mandatory mandates on public transportation, according to Forbes.
In their letter to Biden, the airline CEOs also noted that recent studies have concluded that masking on airlines is ineffective in controlling the COVID virus.
They urged the president to “follow the science,” as leftists have often claimed they would do, noting that the World Health Organization said that the rapid spread of the omicron variant during the most recent outbreak was the most demonstrable example of the failure of masking and testing regimens.
The mask mandate is scheduled to expire again on May 3, but could be extended indefinitely for political, not scientific reasons.