March 28, 2022

Airline CEOs Are Sick of Biden’s Mask Mandate

The big question: Why is air travel still having to tangle with facial decorations?

“Just a few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new mask guidelines. Under these new guidelines, most Americans in most of the country can now go mask free. And based on projections, more of the country will reach across that point across the next couple of weeks. Thanks to the progress we have made in the past year, Covid-19 no longer need control our lives. I know some are talking about living with COVID-19. But tonight I say that we will never just accept living with COVID-19. We’ll continue to combat the virus as we do other diseases. And because this virus mutates and spreads, we have to stay on guard.” —Joe Biden, State of the Union Address

These were the words that the president spoke regarding where the country was on COVID, vaccines, and unmasking. Masks, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are not as necessary, and yet they are still required accessories for air travel.

Alas, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that instead of letting the masking mandate expire (like it was supposed to do on March 18), it was going to extend it by another month (April 18). The rationale for this extension is based on dubious science (disproven science, actually) and was challenged in the Senate.

The Senate, in a bipartisan effort, moved to pass a removal of the air travel mask mandate. President Biden has said he will veto if this effort passes the House.

This week, 10 airline CEOs signed a letter begging for the Biden administration to lift the pandemic mandates such as pretesting for travel and masks on planes. They outline the scientifically based reasons for lifting the restrictions.

Frankly, they are probably tired of acting the villain and kicking out small children and their families if they refuse to mask, and even being the cause of staff sickouts.

The airline industry is one of the very few left still having to make people mask up. This is despite the fact that airplanes are equipped with HEPA filters, making the air in the passenger cabins cleaner than the air in most other enclosed spaces.

In spite of the president’s words in the State of the Union, his overall actions indicate that he and his administration are not willing to let go of all the power they amassed through the state of emergency.

If COVID-19 is “no longer to control our lives” as the president so aptly put it, it is time that he and his administration stop giving lip service to the American people and actually follow through on ending the pandemic-era policies that are hurting the public in general and businesses such as airlines in particular.

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