On Monday, a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden Administration’s mask mandate for public modes of travel, including planes and trains. The reaction from many was that of joy, while others have expressed disappointment in the ruling. United Airlines said that it would continue to require masks on its flights until the Biden Administration had offered some guidance on how to move forward.
At the same time, a viral video shows one flight attendant singing to passengers that they could now throw their masks away.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki engaged in a battle of words with Fox News press pool member Peter Doocy when he asked her on Tuesday why the media – of which he is a member – is allowed to go maskless when the Biden Administration believes people should wear masks on public transportation. Psaki replied, “”Well, Peter, I’m not a doctor and you’re not a doctor, that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor I wasn’t aware of that until today.”
Although Psaki said that the Justice Department could appeal the ruling, a Justice Department spokesperson released a statement revealing that the department had no plans to do so at this time. This statement comes as the Centers for Disease Control has revealed that it still believes that the mandate is necessary.
However, later on Tuesday, the DOJ stated that they would be appealing the ruling. Fox News reports that the appeal is not one for an emergency stay.
One pilot announced over a plane’s loudspeaker that the passengers would no longer be expected to wear a mask while on planes. Passengers on this Delta American flight cheered loudly in response. Many of them removed their face covering and threw the masks down.
A train conductor in New Jersey made a similar announcement to his passengers on Tuesday morning. He added “feel free to burn them at will.”
However, some of his passengers showed confusion at the announcement. It is suspected that many of them had unvaccinated children, and they expected to be traveling in a masked environment for their children’s safety.
However, one New York Times reporter tweeted her displeasure regarding the end of the mandate and plane passengers’ response. Other political pundits shared her sentiment, saying that we are still in the middle of a pandemic.
As a result, there are many who now deal with local COVID-19 masking policies. Philadelphia is one city with a highly contested masking policy. Other cities with masking mandates include New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Many of these cities, however, have switched to a mask-optional policy.
Some individuals are continuing to wear their masks, however. One traveler said she wanted to wear her mask, but did not expect others to be forced to wear one.