Effort to ban mask mandates on public transportation gains steam as another big supporter joins the fight

Exclusive: Efforts to ban mask mandates on public transportation are gaining momentum, but the Air Marshals Association has voiced support for asking Congress to enact such a ban; It said it would “send a clear message” that air crew and transport workers should not be required to wear masks. Masking policies will be enforced on behalf of the US government.

Fox News Digital reports that the group’s president, John Casaretti, praised the Freedom to Breathe Act, which the senator introduced last Tuesday before it was ultimately blocked by Sen. Ed Markey, J.D. Vance. I obtained a letter sent to Senator (R-Ohio). , Massachusetts, Thursday.

Casaretti previously spoke in Congressional testimony in 2021 about how mask mandates have contributed to an increase in violence onboard aircraft, saying that flight attendants have been “directly physically assaulted” on board planes. “We stand firm in our support for this commonsense bill,” he wrote. We’re trying to enforce those requirements.

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“The Aviation Safety Association believes that wearing a mask should be an option, not a requirement. Air crew and transportation workers should not be forced to impose arbitrary policies on behalf of the government,” he wrote. . “While we support a permanent ban on mandatory mask-wearing on public transport, we believe that banning mandatory mask-wearing until 31 December 2024 would send a clear message. ”

“The Air Marshals Association stands ready to support your office in passing this important legislation. We look forward to working with your staff and our We can look forward to your enthusiastic support,” he added.

Markey denied Vance’s efforts to pass the bill with a unanimous vote, a largely symbolic move, but insisted health officials need “the freedom to make those decisions.” did.

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Sen. J.D. Vance, Republican of Ohio, speaks at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing entitled Strengthening Airline Operations and Consumer Protection on Thursday, February 9, 2023, in the Russell Building. attend. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc, via Getty Images)

“We must protect the freedom of communities to use the full range of public health tools as needed based on the input of local and state public health officials. Decisions should not be made at the local level. It should be them, a danger to their residents,” Markey said.

If this bill were passed and signed into law, president biden Federal agencies will be prohibited from enforcing mask requirements for public transportation passengers and school students until December 31, 2024. It would also have prevented federal spending from being used to propose face mask mandates or force Americans to wear face coverings.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Vance vowed that the senator would continue to push for passage of the bill through other means, adding that the House version of the bill was sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). He also mentioned that it had been submitted.

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mask travel usa

Travelers arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States, wear face masks as a precautionary measure during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, March 20, 2020. (Reuters/Brendan McDiarmid)

“Now that Senate Democrats have stepped up and defended mask mandates, Sen. Vance will continue to pursue every opportunity to ban them at the federal level,” the spokesperson said.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.


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