Headline RoundupApril 21st, 2022

Feud Over Masks on Public Transportation Revives Politicized Mandate Debate

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Biden administration's mask mandate for public transportation was reversed this week by a federal judge, but the administration will appeal to preserve it. What's the right move?

A district judge in Florida who was appointed by former President Donald Trump ruled this week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its legal authority in maintaining the mandate. After several days of uncertainty and President Joe Biden's remark that whether people mask up on public transportation is "up to them," the Justice Department announced Wednesday that it would seek to overturn the judge's ruling and restore the mandate. Before the ruling, the mandate had recently been extended through May 3. All 50 states have lifted statewide mask mandates, but Philadelphia and other cities are reinstating them amid rising COVID-19 cases

Voices across the spectrum disagree about how necessary mask mandates are to keeping people safe from COVID-19. Many voices from left-rated media sources criticized the judge's understanding of public health law and framed the decision to lift mandates as premature and not based in science. One writer for CNN said the ruling is "particularly disastrous for older adults, the ill and the immunocompromised." Conversely, many voices from the right were critical of the mandate itself and framed the judge's decision to strike it down as a good thing. One Washington Examiner writer said the judge's decision was an example of the judiciary branch combatting "excessive government action."

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