Justice Division appeals masks ruling after CDC says mandate “stays needed for the general public well being”

The Justice Division has filed an enchantment that seeks to reverse a decide’s current ruling that ended the nation’s masks mandate on public transit. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention had requested the division to enchantment the choice, issuing a press release Wednesday that mentioned the mandate “stays needed for the general public well being.”

“CDC continues to advocate that folks put on masks in all indoor public transportation settings,” the CDC’s assertion continued. “CDC’s primary precedence is defending the general public well being of our nation. As we’ve mentioned earlier than, carrying masks is most helpful in crowded or poorly ventilated places, such because the transportation hall.”

The Justice Division mentioned Tuesday it will enchantment U.S. District Choose Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s choice provided that the CDC mentioned the mandate was nonetheless needed. The division mentioned Tuesday that it disagreed with the district courtroom’s choice, and upon submitting the enchantment, Justice Division spokesman Anthony Coley issued a press release Wednesday saying, “In gentle of as we speak’s evaluation by the CDC that an order requiring masking within the transportation hall stays needed to guard the general public well being, the Division has filed a discover of enchantment in Well being Freedom Protection Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al.

On Monday, Mizelle voided the CDC’s requirement overlaying airplanes and different public transit, ruling that the mandate exceeded the authority of U.S. well being officers. Within the aftermath, the Transportation Safety Administration mentioned it will now not implement the mandate.

The decide’s choice got here days after the CDC had prolonged the masks mandate, which had been set to run out Monday, by two weeks to provide researchers extra time to review the Omicron subvariant BA.2.   

Nonetheless, the response to the ruling has been diverse. Some cities, together with New York Metropolis and Philadelphia, nonetheless require masks to be worn in airports and on public transportation, whereas others, reminiscent of Houston and Atlanta, don’t. Even airways now have differing guidelines for masking, though most now say masks are elective for passengers. Amtrak has additionally mentioned masks are now not required on trains or in stations.

Requested Tuesday if individuals ought to nonetheless put on masks on planes, President Biden replied: “That is as much as them,” in accordance with The Related Press.

Dr. Céline Gounder, an infectious illness professional and editor-at-large for Kaiser Well being Information, advised “CBS Mornings” that the CDC’s extension was the “applicable” and “cautious” method.

“We all know that this virus mutates. In reality, it is mutating very quickly,” she mentioned. “We’ll see extra variants, and we’ll see different pandemics after COVID. So I do suppose the thought of stripping ourselves of a necessary device and toolbox is a extremely dangerous concept.”

Victoria Albert and Robert Legare contributed reporting.

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