Cruz tweeted a link to a story on Monday accusing Biden and the Centers for Disease Control of playing ‘mask theater’ by continuing to impose mask rules in some settings, while allowing Americans to return to bars, concerts and nightclubs without them.
He wrote: ‘Agreed. Biden’s CDC needs to ‘follow the science’ and end its mask mandate for vaccinated Americans on airplanes and public transportation.’
And despite sticking by such mandates, the Biden administration plans to host 1,000 people on the White House lawn on July 4 for a massive party with essential workers and military families.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently signed a resolution urging the CDC and TSA to end mask mandates on flights
Cruz tweeted on Monday that Biden’s administration must allow vaccinated residents to fly without a mask ahead of July 4 celebrations
The CDC’s most recent public health recommendations, dated May 28, say that fully vaccinated passengers no longer need to have a negative COVID test before or after traveling and don’t need to quarantine following their travels. But they say travelers must still wear a face covering while traveling on planes, trains and buses.
The Transportation Security Administration cited the CDC’s recommendations as their reason for extending the mask mandate for anyone in airports or traveling on commercial flights, commuter buses or trains until Sept. 13.
However, even the states with the most draconian lockdown measures – such as New York and California – have lifted almost all mask rules, and have allowed thousands of Americans to cram into sports games, bars, nightclubs and indoor concerts.
Cruz introduced a resolution to end the mask mandate on public transit on Friday, signing alongside Senators Susan Collins, of Maine, Jerry Moran, of Kansas, Roger Wicker, of Mississippi, Cynthis Lummis, of Wyoming, and Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee.
According to the resolution, lifting the mask mandate on public transportation ‘would be instrumental in helping the economic recovery of the United States by boosting travel and benefitting the travel and tourism industries without sacrificing public health.’
It adds that permitting fully vaccinated people to travel without a mask ‘would incentivize a greater number of individuals to receive the COVID–19 vaccine.’
There are over 150 million people in the U.S. who are fully vaccinated and mask mandates have been lifted in other public areas. ‘But the CDC inexplicably still hasn’t lifted the mask mandate for public transportation,’ Cruz said in a news release. ‘Americans should be able to travel to celebrate Independence Day with their friends and loved ones without having to follow an outdated and unnecessary mandate.’
Senator Blackburn criticized Biden for lecturing Americans to ‘follow the science,’ but not applying the same logic to the mask mandate on public transit. ‘It’s clear that this rhetoric was just another way for the radical left and big government to control Americans,’ she said in a news release.
‘Experts have been clear for months — if you are vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask. It’s time we end these absurd political charades and start following the science.’
Public transportation is one of the only areas in the U.S. where people are still required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status
Meanwhile, Collins said that she recently spoke with flight attendants who said that the mask mandate is a reason for the spike in disturbances and violence on flights.
‘One of them was frightened by what would happen if she tried to enforce the mandate,’ Collins said. ‘It makes no sense that someone can go to a restaurant without wearing a mask, but they cannot fly on an airplane without one even though it has a far better ventilation system.’
And Senator Lummis said that ‘outside of the beltway, the country is going back to normal,’ adding that states have lifted their mask mandates months ago and the only place such requirements are still in place is on public transportation.
But TSA and officials in Biden’s administration continue to defend the mask mandate on planes.
‘Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic,’ said Darby LaJoye, the senior official performing the duties of the TSA administrator, in a statement. ‘We will continue to work closely with [the CDC] to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far.’
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a news conference that the mandate must stay in place because of the presence of children on board because there’s not yet a vaccine approved for children
Youngsters over 12 can receive a vaccine, with trials underway to establish whether the shots are also safe for younger kids to receive.
Buttigieg added that it is easier to avoid someone without a mask in places like a bar, but impossible on a flight.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended the mask mandate and said it is impossible to avoid someone without a mask on a flight
Meanwhile, Biden is still planning on hosting a 1,000 people on the White House lawn on July 4 for a massive party with essential workers and military families
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Monday that Biden’s July 4 party was still set and Washington’s National Mall will be open to spectators to watch an evening fireworks display over the Washington Monument.
The fireworks display, which draws thousands from neighboring states, still took place last year when former President Donald Trump opened the National Mall to the public.
The city lifted restrictions on mask-wearing for fully-vaccinated people in May as over 70 percent of adults have received at least one shot.
But some are concerned about rising cases of the more contagious Indian Delta variant of the virus, which are rising in parts of the U.S. where vaccination rates are low. However, Psaki said she is not concerned about the affect that might have on the crowd planned to celebrate at the nation’s capital on Independence Day.
‘We are confident in our [July 4] plans,’ Psaki said. ‘I don’t anticipate at this point our plans changing.’