With most of the rest of the planet eliminating the indoor mask requirement, why is the Biden administration extending the mandate to wear masks on airplanes and trains until April 18?

There’s stupid. There’s silly. And then there’s the federal government’s mask requirement on public transit.

Masks have contributed in no small way to the spike in “unruly” passenger complaints from airlines. It’s usually started by some busybody who claims someone isn’t wearing their mask correctly or took it off. What follows usually isn’t very pretty.

Why is this even an issue after the CDC said that cloth masks are not effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus? Unless United Airlines and other carriers are going to hand out the more effective N-95 masks to passengers and flight personnel, there is no purpose whatsoever to forcing passengers to mask up.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in statements Thursday that CDC will work with other government agencies “to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor.”

The TSA extension comes at the CDC’s recommendation. Airline and some government officials think this could be the last nationwide extension of the mask requirements.

Airlines and travel groups last month called on the administration by March 18 to “repeal the Federal mask mandate for public transportation or provide a clear roadmap to remove the mask mandate within 90 days.”

Sorry, that idea makes far too much sense. When senators point out the futility and stupidity of mask requirements, they get the silent treatment.

On Thursday, 31 Republican senators asked the administration to end the mask and pre-departure testing requirements. “It is time for the federal government to recognize this reality, follow the science, and reduce or eliminate these restrictions immediately,” Senator Roger Wicker said.

The current CDC transit order, which has been in place since soon after Biden took office in January 2021, has been previously extended three times and requires masks to be worn by all travelers on airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares and at transportation hubs such as airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, and seaports.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration over the mask mandate last month and got a snippy response from the DoJ.

“Seat-belt laws likewise took away the ‘liberty’ to choose driving (or flying) without a seat belt, but losing that choice was not irreparable harm,” the Justice Department said.

Only those who enjoy the “liberty” to mock liberty should be required to wear masks so they can appreciate what Paxton is arguing.

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