The man clearly has his finger on the pulse of the nation. After sitting back for months, the administration filed an appeal last night on deadline day to reinstitute federal airplane mask mandates. We knew they couldn’t resist.
DOJ requested oral arguments and, with no request for a stay, it is unlikely this appeal will see any resolution any time soon. It does, however, make crystal clear that had a judge not intervened this administration would still have a mask order in place on airplanes and mass transit – and it’s a helpful reminder that while the Senate had a strong bipartisan vote on banning the mandate from coming back, the House has refused to vote.
Even the New York Times yesterday finally recognized the obvious:
“In U.S. cities where mask use has been more common, Covid has spread at a similar rate as in mask-resistant cities. Mask mandates in schools also seem to have done little to reduce the spread. Hong Kong, despite almost universal mask-wearing, recently endured one of the world’s worst Covid outbreaks.”
(The Times does continue to assert that masks stop viruses, based on poorly designed lab experiments with mannequins. Really.)
Our policy solution continues to be to let each American decide for themselves if they want to wear masks on planes. Your faithful editors who travel on planes across the country fairly regularly have observed (by eyeballing the data) that on most flights far fewer than half of travelers (and perhaps closer to one of three) passengers are wearing a mask.
You can read Biden’s full appeal brief here: