Biden’s White House lets Trump judge set mask policy for travelers
Covid positive. I took a Covid-19 test on Tuesday morning after learning that a close contact had tested positive. I tested positive and most of my family too. I was probably already positive and contagious while on the plane. So I’m happy to wear a mask in these last minutes of the rule.
That may be the story of the country right now, as fewer people are masking up and Covid-19 infections are starting to rise again.
Judges make rules. It’s the strange way the US government works, or doesn’t work, right now.
In the absence of leadership or action from the White House and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle – who worked in the Trump administration before President Donald Trump appointed her to the judiciary – makes federal policy for the country as the Biden administration sits. After extending the mask rule last week, the administration did not immediately appeal Mizelle’s decision this week.
It is usually conservatives who warn against judicial activism, but in this case partisan arguments about judges making politics are overturned.
At the end of the line : The federal rule for wearing masks on public transportation has not ended due to long talk about how masks work and whether the Covid-19 pandemic has reached the point where they are no longer needed to save life. Lives.
Detention of the mask. What the judge argued was that the CDC’s mask requirement for airplanes amounted to a form of jail time for those who didn’t want to wear a mask.
“Their freedom of movement is restricted in a manner similar to detention and quarantine,” she wrote.
Maybe the right thing. What’s most incredible about this retrograde shift in policy-making is that ending the mask requirement, at least for now, doesn’t matter to some public health experts.
Although there is a noticeable increase in Covid-19 infections in many parts of the country, hospitalizations and deaths have not started to follow, largely due to the growing immunity of the population thanks to vaccination and previous infection.
“I’m less worried about what’s happening now,” Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and professor of public health at George Washington University, told CNN’s John King on Tuesday.
She said what’s concerning is if the CDC has now lost the power to require masks. This is an open question, as Mizelle deemed the CDC overstepped its authority in the first place.
“I worry about what might happen in the future,” Wen said. “What if there is a new variant that evades existing immunity? What if our hospitals are threatened to the point of being strained again? I want the CDC to have the power at that time to say the masks have to come back.”
Wen said people are worried about the disease or at risk of being seriously infected with Covid-19. should always wear masks.
To let down. Neither Mizelle nor her past are the real enigma of the government here. The White House could have immediately fought that in court, but as it weighed the options on Tuesday, masks were optional on many US planes. Congress could change the law, but little can pass through the US Senate.
There was no immediate effort to steer in either direction.
In other words, the Democrats running the government are allowing this to happen, either because they think the science makes sense or because they lack the political will to change things.
Hide the confusion. Masks have long been a flashpoint in public discussions of Covid-19 – when to wear them, when to take them off and what type should be worn.
The public is divided. CNN’s Ariel Edwards-Levy notes this:
Mars seems far away. I will add here that hospitalizations and deaths were down, but on average more than 1,200 people were dying from Covid-19 every day when this poll was taken. The average daily death rate as of Tuesday is 425 per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It’s impossible to know if those answers would be different if the question were asked today, but it’s certainly true that the Covid-19 situation is different.
Majorities still see the value of masks. Fifty-nine percent of Americans in the March Kaiser poll said people should wear masks in crowded public places, and 71% of Americans in the April Axios-Ipsos poll say they would be at least somewhat likely to wear masks outside their homes if Covid-19 cases increase in their regions.