MadameNoire Featured Video

Simferopol International Airport in Crimea, Russia

Source: Sergei Malgavko / Getty



On April 18, a federal judge in Florida denied the Biden administration’s plea for an extended mask mandate on airplanes, trains, and other forms of public transportation. Now, a number of airline carriers are dropping their previous policies, making it optional for passengers to wear a mask in flight or at the airport.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Jet Blue were among the major airline companies that ditched their mask mandates following the ruling on Monday. While a number of carriers said customers would no longer be required to mask up, American Airlines told passengers that “face masks may still be required based on local ordinances or when traveling to or from certain international locations based on country requirements,” CNN reported.


Florida U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle claimed the mask mandate was “unlawful”

Florida U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle argued that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not have the statutory authority to implement the mask mandate that was issued back in February 2021. The judge claimed the move violated administrative law.

Kimball’s decision came following a lawsuit brought forth by a nonprofit group called the Freedom Defense Fund, which argued that the CDC’s mandate went against people’s individual freedom.

“Without any public comment, or serious scientific justification, CDC bureaucrats imposed a sweeping Travel Mask Mandate applying to every American over the age of two,” said HFDF President Leslie Manookian in a statement.

“There are laws that set boundaries for federal agencies to protect individual freedom and the Court clearly found that CDC exceeded those limits. Unelected officials cannot do whatever they like to our personal freedoms just because they claim good motives and a desirable goal,” she added.

An official from the Biden administration said that they were reviewing the decision and assessing other ways to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for travelers.

“In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time,” the White House representative continued, before adding that the CDC still highly recommended Americans “to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”


The optional mask policy comes as Omicron BA.2 Subvariant cases continue to rise

Fears of a second COVID-19 wave are quickly stirring as cases of the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant have doubled since early February. According to CNBC, the strain now accounts for more than 34 percent of new COVID-19 infections. On April 17, the COVID-19 Tracker reported that the 7-day average number of cases was 35,212. Currently, hospitalizations appear to show a downtrend with the admission rate now at 1398.

Public health officials said they don’t expect a dramatic surge in new cases due to the large number of vaccination immunizations present in America. Currently, 77.4 percent of the population has at least 1 dose of the vaccine.

“The bottom line is we’ll likely see an uptick in cases, as we’ve seen in the European countries, particularly the U.K.,” White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” during an interview in March. “Hopefully we won’t see a surge — I don’t think we will,” he reassured viewers.


People share mixed reactions following dropped public transportation mask mandate

A number of people flocked to social media to share their thoughts about the optional mask mandate on Monday, posting videos of excited passengers removing their masks following the announcement. One stewardess broke out into tears upon sharing the news with fliers.


Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie argued that the CDC should have never had the “legal authority” to issue the mask mandate.

While public health advocate Lucky Tran warned of potential repercussions.

“I don’t know how many times we need to say this, but the transport mask mandate doesn’t just apply to planes. It applies to buses and trains too. Millions who rely on buses and trains to get to work, and access essential services every day, will now be put at much greater risk,” he wrote.


Check out more reactions below.

RELATED CONTENT:  Health Experts Push For Stricter Mask Mandates As COVID-19 Cases Surge Amongst Children

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN