Texas is suing the CDC over its airport mask mandate, saying it overstepped its authority.

Texas is suing the CDC over its airport mask mandate, saying it overstepped its authority.

Texas has sued the Biden administration and the CDC over a mandate to use Covid-19 masks at the airport, and the plaintiffs said he “exceeded his authority.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and U.S. Representative Beth Van Dyne, a Texas Republican, jointly filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules on transit masks.

“President Biden cannot continue to govern by executive order,” Paxton said in a statement. “The time has come to lift his administration’s mandate to wear masks for air travel.”

The government’s executive order requires masks to be worn at US airports, on planes and other forms of transportation.

The rules have been in effect since February 2021, a month after US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, took office. The mandate was issued in January 2021 following a deadly spike in Covid-19 infections during the winter.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (pictured) and U.S. Representative Beth Van Dyne, a Texas Republican, jointly filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules on transit masks.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (pictured) and U.S. Representative Beth Van Dyne, a Texas Republican, jointly filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules on transit masks.

Texas is suing the CDC over its airport mask mandate, saying it overstepped its authority.

At the time, the government said the mandate would “protect Americans and give us confidence that we can travel safely again even during this pandemic.”

The current mask requirements expire on March 18, although they have previously been extended several times.

The group representing major US airlines declined to comment. The White House and CDC did not immediately comment.

The CDC order requires all travelers aged at least two to wear masks on planes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis and rideshares, and at transportation hubs such as airports, bus and ferry terminals. railway and metro stations, as well as seaports.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday the agency is considering new COVID-19 guidance, including when to wear face masks. The CDC expects many of the revised guidelines to be released in late February or early March.

The lawsuit lists the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, which is the headquarters of the CDC, Walensky, CDC Chief of Staff Sherri Berger, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and the US government as a whole as defendants.

U.S. Representative Beth Van Dyne, a Republican from Texas (pictured wearing a mask in the Capitol), jointly filed the lawsuit with Paxton.

U.S. Representative Beth Van Dyne, a Republican from Texas (pictured wearing a mask in the Capitol), jointly filed the lawsuit with Paxton.

The lawsuit also casts doubt on the effectiveness of the mandate, saying the CDC has provided no evidence that wearing masks on planes is a means to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, who like Paxton is a Republican, has rejected requests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to require masks to be worn on the road, even though airlines and some other forms of transportation have previously required masks.

Republicans in Congress repeatedly tried to overturn the mandate. Mask requirements have been a source of friction, especially on board US airlines, where some travelers have refused to wear masks.

The Federal Aviation Administration reports about 6,400 complaints about unruly passengers since the beginning of 2021, about 4,500 concern passengers without masks.

In some US states, transportation hubs are among the few places where masks are still required.

The CDC claims that travel contributes to the spread of Covid-19 across the country, and that wearing a mask is one measure that can be used to mitigate the spread.

During a White House COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Walensky said officials were “cautiously optimistic” about the direction of the pandemic, given the rate at which Omicron cases are declining across the country.

The current mask requirements expire on March 18, although they have previously been extended several times.

The current mask requirements expire on March 18, although they have previously been extended several times.

What are the rules for wearing masks at airports?

On January 29, 2021, the CDC issued an order requiring all people to wear face masks while traveling on public transportation in, inside or outside the United States and its territories.

The order also required all people to wear masks at transport hubs such as airports, train stations and bus stations.

On June 10, 2021, the CDC stated that it no longer requires people to wear a mask outside but still be at the airport.

The rules apply regardless of vaccination status.

The CDC states: “If a passenger refuses to comply, the operator must disembark the person at the first safe opportunity (or move the passenger to an open area of ​​the vehicle, if possible).

“People who refuse to wear a mask can be held administratively liable.”

She added that the CDC is currently reviewing its guidance and that it will “be updated soon.”

Updates could be expected in late February or early March, giving President Joe Biden the opportunity to announce March 1, according to CNBC.

The White House has been criticized for delaying updating COVID-19 health advice, such as wearing masks, even as most states have sought to lift or lift restrictions in recent weeks.

In the coming weeks, a number of states are set to lift mask requirements.

Washington will cancel its mandate tomorrow (February 18), and Connecticut will cancel its statewide school mask mandate on February 28.

Illinois and Massachusetts will end the statewide mask-wearing mandate on Feb. 28, and then Washington, D.C. will end the citywide mandate on March 1.

Requirement to use school masks will be lifted in Rhode Island and New Jersey on March 4 and 7, respectively, and in Oregon on March 31.

Meanwhile, a number of states have outright banned mask mandates, including Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Iowa, North Dakota and Montana.

At a briefing on Wednesday, Walensky acknowledged the weariness caused by public mandates two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know you have a lot of questions about what prevention strategies are really needed at the moment, especially since people are so eager to get rid of them,” the medical expert said.

She suggested that the White House is considering a new phase that includes moving away from the current stage while being ready for the threat of a new option.

“We want to give people a break from things like wearing masks when those rates improve, and then be able to turn to them again if things get worse,” Walensky explained.

Cases in the country have dropped by 44 percent over the past week, with a daily average of 151,056 cases falling short of the 800,000 cases per day reached at the peak of the Omicron surge in mid-January, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Cases in the country have dropped by 44 percent over the past week, with a daily average of 151,056 cases falling short of the 800,000 cases per day reached at the peak of the Omicron surge in mid-January, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. is currently averaging 2,306 COVID deaths per day over the past week.  In recent weeks, this indicator has fluctuated in the range from 2400 to 2500, and now there are first signs that it will start to fall.

The U.S. is currently averaging 2,306 COVID deaths per day over the last week. In recent weeks, this indicator has fluctuated in the range from 2400 to 2500, and now there are first signs that it will start to fall.

In 17 states, cases have dropped by more than 70 percent in the past two weeks.

In 17 states, cases have dropped by more than 70 percent in the past two weeks.

“If and when we update our leadership, we will communicate it clearly. And it will be based on data and science.”

COVID testing chief Dr. Tom Inglesby emphasized the CDC’s stance during an interview with CNN earlier Wednesday morning, urging children in schools to use “any” face covering material available despite research showing some cloth masks may not be effective in fighting the virus. . .

“Cloth masks are better than no masks. Surgical masks are better than cloth ones. Therefore, any mask available that is well suited for children should be used,” Inglesby told CNN.

The Omicron strain was first discovered by South African officials in late November and quickly took the world by storm. This caused a spike in COVID cases across much of the Western world, with the number of infections in the US skyrocketing to a record 800,000 per day in mid-January.

However, Omicron quickly burned out and ran out of steam. Daily cases have plummeted to about 147,000 per day, a 40 percent drop from the last week, according to the CDC.

Walensky said at a briefing that the average COVID-related hospital admissions were down 28 percent.

Deaths have also come down, dropping nine percent over the past week, according to the CDC. Death rates from Omicron have never reached the same heights as the Delta variant in the summer or the COVID surge in the winter of 2021, as the strain is milder than previous versions of the virus and the US population is now heavily vaccinated.

Experts hope its high infection rate, combined with the relatively mild nature of this option, means the end of the pandemic will be soon.

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