by Lacey Pfalz
Last updated: 12:51 PM ET, Mon July 19, 2021
The Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF) issued the fourth lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and President Joseph Biden in an effort to end the CDC's mandate that ordered that all individuals using public transportation must wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Along with the HFDF in its lawsuit are Ana Daza and Sarah Pope, two Americans who feel the mask mandate problematic. Their argument states that the federal mask mandate on public transportation "1) exceeds CDC's statutory and regulatory authority; 2) was ordered without notice and comment required by the Administrative Procedure Act; 3) is arbitrary and capricious; 4) constitutes an unlawful delegation and exercise of legislative power; and 5) violates the 10th Amendment."
These same arguments were made in a prior lawsuit that was also filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Wall v. CDC. The other lawsuits include Corbett v. TSA and Mahwikizi v. CDC.
These legal battles will be fought much like the lawsuit that Florida filed against the CDC earlier in the year because of the CDC's requirements to restart the cruise industry, which also included a vaccination requirement for all crewmembers and most of the passengers onboard cruise ships; one district judge initially ruled in favor of Florida, while the next, made by a circuit court of appeals, ruled in favor of the CDC.
Anti-mask rhetoric has been increasingly popular over the past year and a half and it has led to safety issues; violent incidents on public transportation, on airplanes especially, have been climbing to unprecedented rates, with almost three-quarters of these incidents resulting from passengers refusing to wear a mask.
The FAA saw the highest number of incidents since 1995 earlier this July. It got so bad that associations and unions of pilots and crew members began demanding stricter penalties for unruly passengers, who often get violent when they don't get their way. Currently, the penalties for this behavior can include a fine of up to more than $100,000 and or up to twenty years in federal prison.
Back in May, a study found that people felt more confident and safe in the air with a mask mandate in place; the results were a staggering 91 percent approval rating for wearing masks. But that approval rating might have dropped since then with the rise in vaccinations and the lifting of mask mandates in almost every other sector in the country.
The mask mandate expires September 13, and the CDC has a big decision on its hands: with the ever-growing concern over the Delta variant, it might just see fit to extend the mandate for longer to prevent it from spreading in the air.
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