A group of Republican senators introduced a resolution on June 25 urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to end the mask mandate for fully vaccinated Americans using public transit and interstate travel.
The CDC already has lifted the mask guidance for fully vaccinated people outdoors, as well as in most other settings. But interstate rail lines, airports, and airplanes still require masks in abeyance to one of the early executive orders issued by President Joe Biden.
“Over 150 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated and mask mandates have been lifted across the country. But the CDC inexplicably still hasn’t lifted the mask mandate for public transportation. It’s long past time for President Biden and the CDC to follow the science and end this mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in a statement.
“Americans should be able to travel to celebrate Independence Day with their friends and loved ones without having to follow an outdated and unnecessary mandate.”
The text of the resolution says that lifting the mandate would incentivize more people to get the CCP virus vaccine. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, causes COVID-19.
The Republicans also argue that ending the mandate would help with the country’s economic recovery by safely boosting travel and tourism.
“Outside of the Beltway, the country is going back to normal. Wyoming and most other states lifted their mask mandate months ago. Vaccination rates are increasing and COVID cases are decreasing. The only place most Americans are wearing masks now is in airports and on airplanes,” Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) said. “Secretary Buttigieg even said that the mandate is not actually about the science, but instead about ‘respect.’ If there’s no science backing it up, it’s time for the mandate to go.”
On April 30, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended the mask requirement at airports and throughout the transportation network until Sept. 13. The resolution urges the TSA to “update its mask requirements, to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, to permit fully vaccinated individuals to travel on all transportation networks throughout the United States without wearing a mask.”
A group representing major airlines earlier this month urged the Department of Justice to prosecute passengers who don’t comply with the mask requirement. According to the letter, the Federal Aviation Administration has received more than 3,039 reports of unruly behavior. Many of the reports deal with passengers who refused to wear masks.