The CDC's national face mask mandate for public transport starts Tuesday

Starting Monday, just before midnight, there’s a new mandate taking effect and it’s on the national level rather than the usual state and municipal orders we’ve been seeing. Anyone taking public transportation of any kind is not to be allowed to travel without wearing a face mask. The order applies to airplanes, buses, trains, subways, seaports, transportation hubs, taxis, and ride-sharing vehicles. The order is coming from the CDC, but you know that it wouldn’t have gone out without running it past the White House first. Also, this goes much further than President Biden’s first executive order which only covered travel on federal property. (Though he seems to have trouble obeying it himself.) This order applies everywhere in the fifty states. So it seems that the days of the federal government allowing the individual states to decide what works best for them are over. It’s just another day in Big Government America. (National Review)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a sweeping order Friday evening requiring travelers to wear face masks on most forms of public transportation in an effort to slow the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country.

Travelers and commuters will be required to don a face mask on all airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares. Masks must also be worn while waiting, boarding, traveling, and disembarking at airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, and seaports. The order applies to “all passengers on public conveyances” traveling to or within the U.S.

The CDC’s order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday.

In addition to this mandate, the CDC also extended the moratorium on evictions through the end of March. I must say, the folks at the CDC have had a busy week. They’ve provided a detailed description of how the mandate is to be applied here, or you can download the full, eleven-page order here.

The CDC is effectively turning all public transportation operators into law enforcement officers when the vast majority of them have no training in that area. Bus drivers and similar operators are supposed to prevent people without masks from boarding and kick out people who remove their masks once they are onboard. This has already resulted in multiple bus drivers suffering beatings and attacks while trying to enforce similar orders. The operators are further instructed to tell people that a refusal to wear a mask is a violation of federal law, though they make no mention of how your bus driver is supposed to arrange to have you prosecuted.

So who does the order apply to? Well… pretty much everyone. The exceptions are children under the age of two and people with a disability that makes it unsafe to wear a mask. (You’ll probably need a note from your doctor.) You can temporarily remove your mask:

  • while eating, drinking, or taking medication
  • while communicating with a person who is hearing impaired
  • while wearing an oxygen mask on a plane because of a loss of cabin pressure
  • when verifying one’s identity such as during TSA screening or instructed to do so by law enforcement

Does anyone honestly think that the government is going to start hauling people into court over mask mandate violations? There might be exceptions if someone is being a real jerk about it, getting violent or coughing in people’s faces intentionally, but for the most part, they’ll probably just be asked to leave the vehicle. Also, setting the minimum age at two seems like a bit much. Have you tried forcing a three-year-old to wear a mask for hours at a time? Some of the parents we’ve heard from find it pretty much impossible.

Here’s the real kicker. First of all, the order specifically states that these rules apply to people who have recovered from the disease as well as those who are vaccinated. Also, there is no end date specified for this order. It goes into effect on Monday night and near the top of page 9 it says “until further notice.” On the last page of the order, it says that the rule will remain in effect “unless modified or rescinded… or until the Secretary of Health and Human Services rescinds the determination.”

Could these jokers actually be considering making this a permanent feature of American life even after we finish the vaccinations? Because that would be a massive bridge too far. This is not normal. This is never going to be normal. And we don’t have to put up with it.