Senator Rand Paul just announced that he will force a Senate vote on repealing one of the federal government’s most idiotic remaining COVID-19 mandates.
The Kentucky Republican has gathered enough signatures from his colleagues to trigger a vote when the Senate returns to session on ending the federal government’s travel mask mandates that currently require passengers to wear masks on airplanes and other forms of public transportation.
“Since March 2020, unelected bureaucrats have incessantly declared that we should ‘follow the science,’” Paul said in a statement. “But the same bureaucrats continue to defy science by imposing an ineffective and restrictive mask mandate for individuals travelling on public transit and airplanes.”
“As the entire world is learning to live with COVID, the federal government still uses fear mongering to stubbornly perpetuate its mandates, rather than giving clear-eyed, rational advice on how to best protect yourself from illness,” the senator continued. “That is why I am forcing a vote to repeal travel mask mandates on public transportation and put a stop to this anti-science, nanny state requirement.”
Paul has introduced legislation in the past that would repeal the travel mandate.
Republican congressman Thomas Massie has also co-sponsored this legislation, blasting the travel mask mandate as “tyrannical and unscientific.”
I am cosponsoring legislation that invokes the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to end the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) tyrannical and unscientific mask mandate for planes, buses, and other forms of public transportation. Thanks @RepDanBishop @RepBrianMast and @SenRandPaul! pic.twitter.com/9glHWCCXrf
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) February 24, 2022
It’s perfectly fair to call the airplane mask mandate anti-science. After all, airplanes actually have highly filtered air systems where very minimal COVID-19 spread can occur.
“The statistics I recall is that 99.97% of airborne pathogens are captured by the [high-efficiency particulate air] filtering system, and it’s turned over every two or three minutes,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said during Senate testimony. “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment. It’s very safe, and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”
What’s more, the mask mandates do not differentiate between cloth masks, which are basically useless, and N-95 masks, which can offer wearers some degree of protection from COVID-19. So, the travel mask mandate was always more about “doing something” and signaling political conformity than about “following the science.”
Here’s hoping that the efforts of Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, and company to terminate this idiotic federal policy are successful.