by Kurt Anderson
scheduled tribe. Petersburg, Fla. ( Associated Press) — A federal judge in Florida has rescinded a national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation as exceeding the authority of U.S. health officials in the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision on Monday by US District Judge Katherine Kimball Mizell in Tampa, appointing former President Donald Trump, also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unreasonably failed to justify its decision and did not follow a reasonable rule of thumb. .
In his 59-page ruling, Mizell said the only remedy was to completely vacate the rule nationwide because it would be impossible to eliminate it for the limited group of people who protested at the trial.
The judge said “a limited remedy will not be a remedy” and that courts have every right to make such a decision – even if the CDC’s goals in fighting the virus are laudable.
“Since our system does not allow agencies to act illegally even in pursuit of desirable objectives, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate,” she wrote.
The Justice Department declined to comment Monday when asked whether the government plans to appeal the decision.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was not directly involved in the case but has fought against several government coronavirus requirements, praised the ruling in a statement on Twitter.
“It is great to see a federal judge in Florida abiding by the law and rejecting the Biden transport mask mandate. Both airline employees and passengers deserve an end to this misery,” DeSantis tweeted.
The CDC recently extended the mask mandate, which was set to expire on Monday, until May 3 to allow more time to study the ba.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus that is now most prevalent in the US. Responsible for matters.
The requirement for masks for passengers was the target of months of lobbying by airlines, which sought to kill it. The carriers argued that the effective air filters on modern aircraft make transmission of the virus during a flight highly unlikely. Republicans in Congress also fought to kill the mandate.
Critics have captured the fact that states have rolled back rules requiring masks in restaurants, stores and other indoor settings, and yet since the Omicron version peaked in mid-January, COVID-19 There has been a sharp decline in cases.
There has been a series of violent incidents aboard the aircraft which are mainly attributed to disputes over mask-wearing requirements.
The lawsuit was filed in July 2021 by the two plaintiffs and the Health Freedom Defense Fund, which in the judge’s order was described as a non-profit group that “opposes laws and regulations that allow individuals to do so as they wish.” against the administration of medical products, procedures and equipment.
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this story from Washington.