Unmasking the flying public … and more
Florida Federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ended the requirement for masking on most public transportation. “Most” because local public transit systems can still impose masking mandates – as can private businesses and medical facilities. While plane passengers can go maskless, they may have to don those face diapers in some airports.
Regardless it was a happy day for most American travelers who were sick and tired of donning masks on airplanes.
The ruling took effect immediately. That means folks at certain airports and on aircraft who were wearing obligatory masks could remove them immediately. Stewards and stewardesses made the announcement with smiles of glee – and passengers reacted with cheers – suggesting the unpopularity of President Biden’s mask mandate.
The ruling does not prevent passengers from wearing masks if they so choose. But it is anticipated that most will go maskless over time.
The issue of masks on planes has been both unpopular and arguably unnecessary. Most medical experts say that because of aircrafts’ high performance air filtration systems, they are among the safest enclosed spaces. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta attested to that – and said that the airports are a different issue.
The judge’s decision was not based on medical information. It was simply that the Center for Disease Control – and the President – did not have the authority to impose such a ban. They violated the law by skipping the required process.
The Biden administration has the right to appeal the decision – and to ask for a Temporary Restraining Order to postpone implementation – meaning that the masks go back on until the appeal is heard. Some legal experts have already said that they believe the Administration would win. And it appears there will be an appeal.
But will Biden decided to fight the decision? Only if he wants to flirt with political suicide. The popularity of the Judge’s decision suggests that any effort to re-impose the mask mandate would result in a swift and angry backlash from the public. The mask mandate was scheduled to expire in early May – but could have been ended or extended by the CDC. And reports suggest it would have been.
By all reports, there has been an uptick in incidents of violence on aircraft – and much of it resulting from fights over masks. This court decision is likely to end mask-caused confrontations. CNN’s Don Lemon suggested that there may be an uptick in incidents. How does that make any sense. I is just another example of how Lemon allows his political biases trump logic and common sense.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell opened his report on the court decision with an ad hominin attack on the judge. She was a Trump appointee – and, according to Donnell, was deemed by some lawyer group to be unfit to serve on the federal court. Like Lemon, O’Donnell puts his political views ahead of the facts.
Sara Nelson, head of the Airline Attendants union, was not celebratory of the decision – seemingly putting her at odds with her members seen cheering the decision in several videos on virtually every news program. Her argument was that the decision was too sudden and too confusing. But then she is just another left-leaning Democrat-praising union head.
Nelson argued that there should have been an implementation period. Hmmmm. How much implementation does it take to tell folks they can take off their masks? On the planes, the decision was implemented instantly and easily. In some videos, we saw flight attendants collecting masks in garbage bags.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said that the public will be confused – having to put masks on and off as the move about. While that is an annoyance, it is not a burden. I carry a mask because there are still a few businesses that require masks – almost all medical facilities. Joe and his guests indicated that they will mask permanently in public to ward off all communicable diseases. Ya just knew it would come to that for some folks.
Scarborough also said that most folks he sees are still wearing masks. Apparently, he and Mika have not been visiting their home in Florida recently. There are very few places where masks are required and very few people wearing them – outdoors or indoors.
So, will Biden fight the decision in court. Appears so. Are he and the Democrats really that out of touch with the public? Apparently. Anyway, maskless air travel is another step toward post-Pandemic normalcy.
And I am also happy to see Uber and Lyft discard masks for drivers and passengers. And unlike New York City, Florida has been virtually mask-free for the past year.
So, there ‘tis.