Last Updated on January 30, 2021
In a celebratory tone, Forbes notes that the Centers for Disease Control, now “no longer constrained by [President] Trump,” has made it a federal crime to ride on any form of public transportation without wearing a mask.
Tommy Beer, a business reporter for Forbes who is inexplicably covering legally questionable mask mandates with glee, writes that “no longer restricted by the Trump administration, issued an extensive federal public health order late Friday requiring all individuals to wear masks over their mouth and nose on nearly all forms of public transportation and private ride-sharing services—and makes refusal to wear a face-covering a violation of federal law.”
The document from the CDC, titled “Mask-Order-CDC”, dictates:
(1) Persons must wear masks over the mouth and nose when traveling on conveyances into and within the United States. Persons must also wear masks at transportation hubs as defined in this Order.
(2) A conveyance operator transporting persons into and within the United States3 must require all persons onboard to wear masks for the duration of travel.
(3) A conveyance operators operating a conveyance arriving at or departing from a U.S. port of entry must require all persons on board to wear masks for the duration of travel as a condition of controlled free pratique.
(4) Conveyance operators must use best efforts to ensure that any person on the conveyance wears a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel.
Beer notes that this is a clear rebuke of President Donald Trump, who fought against economically harmful policies including lockdowns and mask mandates.
“Last September, the CDC drafted a similar order requiring all passengers and employees to wear masks on all forms of public and commercial transportation, but it was blocked by the Trump administration,” notes Beer. “As a result, the CDC was limited to only issuing strong recommendations for mask use. Trump, who often questioned the effectiveness of face coverings in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and frequently mocked Biden for wearing a mask, also reportedly rejected efforts by Congress to mandate mask use.”
It is unclear why the Biden administration’s CDC would take this step now, only days after the president declared that there is nothing within the human realm of possibility that could be done to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the coming months.