Murkowski expressed concern for the safety of the state’s fishermen, arguing that mask mandates serve only to increase the dangers of an already dangerous job.
“So I’ve got fisherman, commercial fisherman that are out there in the water – I’ve got crabbers, salmon fisherman, and cod fisherman that are trying to deal with a mask because they are concerned about failure to comply,” she said. “This is more of a safety hazard than anything else. You’re out on a boat, the winds are howling, your mask is soggy wet – tell me how anybody thinks this is a sane and sound policy?”
The agency has also shown a general unwillingness to consider the broader effects of its rules.
Murkowski continued to attack the CDC for its reckless mandates, calling the mask requirement an “absolutely crazy policy.”
As a result, she begged Walensky to rescind the CDC policy quickly by recognizing the additional dangers that the fishermen have found themselves in.
“I don’t understand how we put our Coast Guard men and women in a situation where they know that safety is an issue, a broader safety issue, than the fear of transmission when you are outdoor, in the elements and you are now being required to wear a mask,” Murkowski argued. “So I would hope the CDC would reconsider this quickly, quickly, quickly.”
Murkowski also attempted to secure a commitment to the reopening of Alaskan cruises for the summer season.
As has become all to familiar in the pandemic, the Walensky provided only a vague date for possible reopening, promising further discussion in the future.