Texas sues over airplane mask mandate

By: Sierra Wells

Managing Editor

On Feb. 16, United States Rep. Beth Van Duyne and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States government in response to their airport mask mandate.

“President Biden cannot continue governing through executive edicts. Now is the time to strike down his administration’s air-travel mask mandate. I’m proud to stand alongside my friend Congresswoman Van Duyne and her counsel at TPPF to protect Texans’ liberty and the rule of law” Paxton said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Photo courtesy: Texas Attorney General

According to the CDC, the mandate is going into effect on Feb. 3, and requires United States citizens to wear masks while riding and operating public transportation, such as buses, trains, ferries, airplanes, subways, taxis and more. 

While waiting in transportation stations, residents will also be required to wear a mask, unless the station is outdoors.

“Traveling on public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing people in close contact with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces. Air travel often requires spending time in security lines and busy airport terminals,” the CDC said. “Travel by bus, train and other conveyances used for international, interstate or intrastate transportation poses similar challenges. Staying 6 feet away from others is often difficult on public transportation conveyances.”

Those exempt from the CDC’s mandate include disabled individuals who are unable to wear masks and all children under 2 years old.

Van Duyne and Paxton claim the mask order was unconstitutional and out of the CDC’s authority in the original legal complaint against the airport mask requirement.

Tarleton State University Wildlife major Miranda Mendez does not agree with Paxton’s decision to file this lawsuit.

“Personally, I think it is a little ridiculous that he thinks it is your body your choice for masks yet put in an abortion law that excludes anyone over 6 weeks to get an abortion, even if they are raped or it is incest. I believe although some believe it restricts their constitutional rights, there are options out of it, for instance most countries and air lines are requiring people to be vaccinated before even boarding; therefore, wearing a mask shouldn’t be that much of an issue, especially when it is to protect other people,” Mendez said. “Yes, I get it’s not what people want to do but I don’t want to have to work the rest of my adult life to pay my bills, yet that is just what has to get done. I believe if people would be a little more compassionate, masks wouldn’t be such a big deal considering other people’s health is on the line.”

For more information, visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/global/Original%20Complaint_FILE%20MARKED.pdf

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