The Transportation Security Administration is requiring the public to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and buses, extending its mask mandate by at least a month, through April 18, reports Reason Magazine:
While COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have rapidly collapsed all across the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still isn’t ready to let people take off their masks on airplanes, buses, trains, and subways. The mask mandate for public transportation was set to expire on March 18, but the TSA has extended it for at least another month…Federal health officials are working on a “revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor,” according to NPR.
The current extension will last until April 18, though there’s no guarantee that this will be the final extension….it would be perfectly reasonable for passengers and commuters to de-mask right now. At this point, mask mandates are arbitrary. There is no scientific rationale for forcibly masking young school children but not restaurant diners, or subway riders but not library visitors, or airline passengers but not members of Congress: Our elderly president, senators, and senior administration officials were nearly entirely unmasked for the State of the Union. Government planners are making up policies that have no basis in health.
In December, the heads of various airlines testified before Congress that the air filtration systems on planes are better than the air filtration systems in hospital intensive care units. “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” said Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines. “It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”