DeSantis Slams Biden Extension of Airline Masks Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis (Chris O'Meara/AP)
By Jay Clemons | Wednesday, 13 April 2022 01:30 PM
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis could not hide his disappointment toward the Biden administration Wednesday, slamming the White House's decision to extend the nation's mask mandate for public transportation.
DeSantis mocked President Joe Biden on Twitter for lengthening a mask mandate that is more theater than science, he tweeted.
"Biden's extension of the transportation mask mandate simply prolongs the misery that passengers and flight attendants are being forced to endure. This is not evidence based, but simply more COVID theater," DeSantis wrote.
He added: "This is the Biden equivalent of continuing the beating until morale improves. I'm glad Florida and other states are fighting this mandate in court."
A total of 21 states filed a March 29 lawsuit against the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in hopes of blocking the federal COVID-19 mandate requiring masks for airline travel and other modes of public transportation.
The lawsuit represents another legal challenge against transport mask mandates that were originally implemented in February 2021, covering airports, buses, trains, transit hubs, and even ride-sharing vehicles, such as Uber or Lyft.
On that same March day, Gov. DeSantis and Florida attorney general Ashley Moody revealed that Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia were joining Florida in the suit.
"You have this federal rule, which was just extended, that's still forcing people to wear masks on airplanes," DeSantis said two weeks ago. "It's not something that's grounded in any science."
Citing one example of the mandate hypocrisy, DeSantis relayed how one hypothetical plane passenger could slowly eat peanuts for the entirety of a two-hour flight, without ever donning a mask.
However, another passenger, perhaps sitting one seat to the right or left, would have the federal obligation of wearing a mask for the entire flight — if they chose not to eat or drink anything.
This federal mandate "has turned the airlines into having to police this," said DeSantis, while acknowledging the majority of recent fights breaking out on flights, or at the terminal gates, have been mask-mandate-related. "A lot of unruly passenger situations."