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Tipsheet

Two More Weeks to Slow the Spread: CDC to Extend Federal Travel Mask Mandate

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

The Biden administration is set to announce that the CDC's federal mandate for mass transit, plane, and train travel will be extended an additional 15 days after being set to expire on April 18th following a previous extension by the Biden administration.

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As The AP reported:

The Biden administration will extend for two weeks the nationwide mask requirement for public transit as it monitors an uptick in COVID-19 cases, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was set to extend the order, which was to expire on April 18, by two weeks to monitor for any observable increase in severe virus outcomes as cases rise in parts of the country. The move was being made out of abundance of caution, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to preview the CDC’s action. The requirement will now extend through May 3, 2022.

So for just two weeks more (sound familiar?), Americans traveling by train, subway, airplane, etc. will be required to mask up despite the fact that arenas remain been packed with maskless fans for concerts, sporting events, and more. You don't need to wear a mask, according to the CDC, while sitting in a crowded restaurant with one dingy ceiling fan creaking in slow circles, but you do need to keep wearing a mask on a passenger aircraft in which air is constantly flowing and highly filtered. 

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As Townhall reported in late March, the CEOs of America's major airlines sent a letter to Biden demanding the federal mask mandate for travel be updated to be in line with other countries and known science. "Lifting the mask mandate in airports and onboard aircraft can be done safely as England has done," explained the CEOs letter to Biden:

It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do.

Clearly, President Biden didn't care for what the industry leaders had to say. 

As some Republicans including Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas pointed out, the Biden administration's decision to extend COVID restrictions for Americans is more than a little ironic given the White House intends to drop Title 42 — a COVID restriction on illegal immigrants — in May. 

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The decision comes even after the CDC guidance was updated to allow Americans in nearly every corner of the country to shed their masks when indoors. Despite the relaxed restrictions from the CDC as the Biden administration scrambles to but COVID behind them ahead of the midterms, many liberal leaders continue to mandate masks for young children and toddlers who are ineligible for vaccines. Some Democrats, like those running Philadelphia, have reinstated indoor mask mandates for all despite having extremely low numbers of severe disease or death. 

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