Did you think Biden’s admin would stick to planes, trains, and federal property?
To the shock of no one, President Joe Biden and the CDC skirted around his declaration of requiring masks on planes, trains, and federal property. Another order quietly came about on January 28th, which mentioned compliance “consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law.”
So those who thought Biden would go farther were right. He just did it through the CDC, which requires masks in all modes of transportation. It went into effect this week.
The rule “will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel safely even during this pandemic,” said Dr. Marty Cetron, director of CDC’s division of migration and quarantine, who signed the order.
The 11-page CDC order takes effect just before midnight on Monday night. It makes refusal to wear a mask a violation of federal law, enforced by the Transportation Security Administration and other federal, state and local authorities.
The rule applies to passengers on airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares. It says travelers must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while riding and while getting on and off rides. The order extends to waiting areas such as airports, train platforms and subway stations.
Airlines already require masks and have banned more than 2,000 passengers for refusing to wear one. Flight attendant unions have said a federal rule will make it easier for crews to enforce the requirement.
The order exempts children under 2 years of age and people with a disability that makes it unsafe to wear a mask. Airlines struggled with an exemption for safety and stopped allowing it. The CDC said transportation operators can require medical documentation.
Travelers will be allowed to remove masks while eating or drinking.
The modes of transportation include “an aircraft, train, road vehicle, vessel…or other means of transport, including military.”
Hidden in small print? “This includes rideshares meaning arrangements where passengers travel in a privately owned road vehicle driven by its owner in connection with a fee or service.”
Now let’s look at the exemptions. People who cannot wear masks now have to make it known why they cannot wear one. It is no one’s business why a person cannot wear a mask. What if it is anxiety? Do you have any idea what that could do to a person? Some might fear admitting anxiety as worse than wearing a mask. So they put on a mask and have an anxiety attack.
Or do we have to carry around cards stating our medical ailments?
Travelers can also remove a mask to eat, drink, or take medication. The CDC did not say how long a person can keep off the mask, which means it is up to those around the person. How about slow eaters? Do they have to put the mask back on between bites?
Or is the CDC fine with harassment? When will these people realize that we are not robots?
You must wear a particular mask, too. While these are more specific, there is still enough room open to interpretation.
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