Late last week, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced a resolution calling on the Biden administration's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to end its mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals on public transportation throughout the U.S., including at airports, on commercial airplanes, on buses, and rail systems.
While the federal mask mandate, which was invoked by President Biden by executive order on his first day in office, was initially set to expire May 11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has since extended it to Sept. 13.
Upon introduction of the resolution, Sen. Cruz said:
"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. 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should be able to travel to celebrate Independence Day with their friends and loved ones without having to follow an outdated and unnecessary mandate."
Sen. Collins said:
"I recently spoke with two flight attendants about the mask mandate for air travel. Given the horrendous and unthinkable violence that has occurred on flights, one of them was frightened by what would happen if she tried to enforce the mandate. The CDC recently released recommendations significantly curtailing mask requirements both in indoor and outdoor settings. It makes no sense that someone can go to a restaurant without wearing a mask, but they cannot fly on an airplane without one even though it has a far better ventilation system."
Sen. Moran said:
"Vaccination rates in the U.S. have helped end this pandemic and return our lives to normal. Requiring vaccinated passengers on trains and airplanes to continue wearing masks doesn't follow the science, and the CDC and TSA should update their guidance to reflect their own findings and help us safely return travel to normal."
Sen. Lummis said:
"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. 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."
Sen. Blackburn added:
"Joe Biden has lectured Americans to ‘follow the science.' It's clear that this rhetoric was just another way for the radical left and big government to control Americans. Experts have been clear for months - if you are vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask. It's time we end these absurd political charades and start following the science."
This resolution comes just days after Democrats blocked a bill from Senate Republicans that would have revoked Biden’s mask requirement on public transit. According to news site The Hill, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said when blocking the bill, “This virus is still spreading, it is still mutating, it is still costing lives, and it is still leaving survivors with long-haul symptoms. ... We cannot pretend this pandemic is over.”
Source: Office of Ted Cruz