Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took a break from protecting kindergartners from sexual instruction in the classroom Tuesday to announce that Florida and 20 other states are suing the Biden administration over the federal mask mandate on public transportation, which includes planes, buses and trains.
“It’s amazing that this has gone on for as long as it has,” DeSantis said during a news conference, speaking of the “Covid theater” playing out today.
“Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing,” the popular Republican governor said in a statement. “If politicians and celebrities can attend the Super Bowl unmasked, every U.S. citizen should have the right to fly unmasked. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life.”
The announcement comes just 20 days before the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mask mandate is set to expire, after being extended to April 18 earlier this month.
Gov. DeSantis announces a lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s continuation of the transportation mask mandate. https://t.co/tiu5F1NaGA
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 29, 2022
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is heading up the legal challenge and she called the mask mandate an unlawful “power grab.”
“President Biden’s shortsighted, heavy-handed and unlawful travel policies are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation,” Moody said. “It’s long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry by immediately ending Biden’s unlawful public transportation mandates. I’m proud to stand with Gov. DeSantis and to lead my fellow attorneys general in this multistate action to end the forced masking of travelers in the U.S.”
.@JoeBiden’s shortsighted, heavy-handed & unlawful travel policies are causing chaos on public transportation. They must end, and I’m proud to stand w/ @GovRonDeSantis to lead my fellow AGs in this effort to stop the forced masking of travelers in the U.S.https://t.co/vtzxxieFSH pic.twitter.com/h5knWL9mtv
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) March 29, 2022
The other states joining in the complaint are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
A number of CEOs from the major airlines sent a letter to the Biden administration last week stating that the science shows the mandate is “no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” WPLG Local 10 reported.
Allied Pilots Association spokesman Dennis Tajer said pilots are on board with lifting the mandate — the union that represents 14-thousand American Airlines pilots.
“This is not a time for politics, this is a time for science and the science so far is showing, as we look across our communities, no matter what state you’re in, or city, we see that the masks are not required. We’ve seen the CEO’s of the airlines talk about this, we’re not in opposition to that and we want to get back to the business of a more normal travel experience. but no matter what the travel conditions, it must be safe, and we feel it’s safe right now,” Tajer said, according to WPLG.
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