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The Biden administration via the Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it will appeal the ruling that dropped President Joe Biden’s federal transport mask mandate if the CDC gives the nod just hours after the president said that it was up to Americans whether they should mask up or not.
If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines that the mask mandate is still needed on transport in the name of public health, the DOJ will reportedly move ahead with its appeal, according to the Daily Mail.
“The Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disagree with the district court’s decision and will appeal,” the DOJ contended in a statement released on Tuesday, “subject to CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health.”
“If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision,” the DOJ asserted.
New Statement on Mask Mandate Ruling pic.twitter.com/SwYHIqTG2e
— Anthony Coley (@AnthonyColeyDOJ) April 19, 2022
CDC has concluded that mask order is necessary, per @PeteWilliamsNBC. DOJ will appeal, but will not seek an emergency stay of the judge’s ruling, so the mandate will not be in place while the appeal proceeds.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 19, 2022
This is a compromise. DOJ is always going to want to defend the institutional power of the executive (here, the CDC), no matter which party is in power.
But politically the mask mandate is a loser, so they’re not going to ask for a stay in the meantime.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) April 19, 2022
“The Department continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health,” the DOJ proclaimed in its statement.
“That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve,” the agency added.
The dropping of the mandate is now clouded in confusion after Biden stated earlier on Tuesday that passengers should decide for themselves whether to wear a mask or not followed by the DOJ claiming it would appeal the decision.
Asked at an airport in New Hampshire whether passengers should continue to wear masks or not, the president replied, “That’s up to them.”
(Video Credit: The Daily Mail | C-SPAN)
White House staff and journalists on Air Force One are still required to mask up per CDC recommendations.
“During transit on today’s trip, masking will be required in line with CDC guidance,” the White House stated.
US airlines announced on Tuesday that masks would no longer be required on flights following the ruling by US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Florida. There was celebration in the aisles and by the crews.
(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)
The mandate was ruled unlawful by Mizelle because it purportedly exceeded the authority of the CDC. The White House immediately responded by declaring that masks should still be worn.
“We’re continuing to recommend people wear masks,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated when the ruling came out. A day later, she said it should be left up to the Department of Justice whether to appeal the ruling or not.
“I’m not gonna get ahead of the Department of Justice,” she told reporters while on Air Force One. “We’ll let them make any decisions or announcements.”
“The CDC continues to advise and recommend masks on airplanes. We’re abiding by the CDC recommendations,” she said. “The president is and we would advise all Americans to do that.”
(Video Credit: The White House)
The mandate was set to expire on Monday. The CDC, however, decided that it should be extended until at least May 3 as they study the BA.2 Omicron variant which is spreading across the globe.
The Transportation Security Administration has announced that it will no longer enforce the rule on planes, buses, and trains.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Spirit, and JetBlue have all made masks optional after the ruling.
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