Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody on Tuesday announced that Florida is leading 20 other states in an effort to legally challenge the Biden administration’s public transportation mask mandate that includes airplanes, trains, and rideshare vehicles.
Moody and joining states argue that the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) mandate exceeds the agency’s authority and interferes with state laws banning forced masking. Florida’s administration last year challenged Biden in a similar lawsuit regarding the enforcement of workplace vaccine mandates.
“Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “If politicians and celebrities can attend the Super Bowl unmasked, every U.S. citizen should have the right to fly unmasked. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life.”
The current CDC order, which has been in place for over a year, was set to expire on March 18. The Biden Administration chose to extend the order until April 18. Florida’s leaders claim a lack of high-quality data exists in order to support the efficacy of mask mandates, case numbers, and hospitalizations.
The nation at large is experiencing a largely downward trend in cases, and 81.7 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“President Biden’s shortsighted, heavy-handed and unlawful travel policies are frustrating travelers and causing chaos on public transportation,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “It’s long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry by immediately ending Biden’s unlawful public transportation mandates. I’m proud to stand with Governor DeSantis and to lead my fellow Attorneys General in this multistate action to end the forced masking of travelers in the U.S.”
The complaint seeks to end the unlawful mask mandate on public transportation and establish a permanent injunction against its enforcement.
“It’s not something grounded in any science,” DeSantis said. “If you have somebody sitting in the window seat, and they’re nibbling on peanuts for 2 and a half hours, they have their mask down.”
The following states have joined Florida in the complaint: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.