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Tipsheet

Citing Unconstitutional Overreach, Pilots Sue Over Mask Mandate Extension

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A number of pilots are suing over the extension of the Transportation Security Administration's ongoing mask mandate for air travel. 

"In court paperwork, the 10 commercial airline pilots – who work for American JetBlue and Southwest – argued that the CDC issued an order 'Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances & at Transportation Hubs' on Feb. 1, 2020 'without providing public notice or soliciting comment,'" Fox Business reports. "The pilots are asking the court to "vacate worldwide the FTMM (federal transportation mask mandate)' calling the move an 'illegal and unconstitutional exercise of executive authority.'" 

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The pilots also argue the mandate is being justified despite studies showing masks don't work to protect against Wuhan coronavirus. In early 2020 and before mask mandates, public health officials told Americans it was nearly impossible to contract Wuhan coronavirus on an airplane. 

Last week the TSA announced the CDC recommended the mandate stay in place and therefore, the requirement was being extended until at least April 18. 

"At CDC’s recommendation, TSA will extend the security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for one month, through April 18th," TSA released a statement. "During that time, CDC will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor. This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science. We will communicate any updates publicly if and/or when they change."

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The mandate was set to expire on March 18 before the extension. 

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