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The Airplane Mask Mandate Was Set to Expire. The U.S. Just Extended It Deep Into April.

Ahead of the March 19th expiration of the mask mandate for airplane, train, and other public transportation travelers, the Transportation Security Administration has decided to extend it.

“The Transportation Security Administration is extending a federal requirement that travelers wear masks on airplanes, at airports, on trains and buses through April 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday,” CNBC reported.

“An extension of the mandate comes as the Biden administration, cities and states have rolled back mask mandates and other pandemic policies elsewhere as Covid cases drop,” CNBC noted.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when the mask rules can be lifted during this time,” a White House official told NBC News.

In December, a pair of airline CEOS had pushed back against the mask mandates. Apparently, their testimony wasn’t taken seriously in Washington.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly testified to the Senate that: “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment. It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”

Doug Parker, the American Airlines CEO, agreed with that assessment.

“I concur,” Parker said. “An aircraft is the safest place you can be. It’s true of all of our aircraft — they all have the same HEPA filters and airflow.”

The CDC continues to insist that cloth and surgical masks are effective, despite a plethora of national data that show this is not the case.

In late February, Senator Rand Paul vowed to fight the mask mandate for public transportation.

“U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that he would force a vote on his resolution to repeal travel mask mandates on public transportation,” the senator said in a press release. “This vote will take place when the U.S. Senate returns to session.”

“Since March 2020, unelected bureaucrats have incessantly declared that we should ‘follow the science.’ But the same bureaucrats continue to defy science by imposing an ineffective and restrictive mask mandate for individuals traveling on public transit and airplanes. As the entire world is learning to live with COVID, the federal government still uses fear mongering to stubbornly perpetuate its mandates, rather than giving clear-eyed, rational advice on how to best protect yourself from illness. That is why I am forcing a vote to repeal travel mask mandates on public transportation and put a stop to this anti-science, nanny state requirement,” said Dr. Paul.

“Dr. Paul has been a leading advocate against mask mandates. He previously introduced the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021, and continues to be outspoken against mandates,” the statement added.


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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.