WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) intends to force a vote on ending the Biden administration’s continued mandate to wear masks on planes and public transportation, which the administration announced Thursday it is extending for another month.
Citing the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it “will extend the security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for one month, through April 18th,” Fox News reports. “During that time, CDC will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor. This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science. We will communicate any updates publicly if and/or when they change.”
The announcement follows 92 congressional Republicans writing the TSA to express that they “believe TSA’s mask mandate should be allowed to expire later this month,” citing “strong declines in COVID-19 cases and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance eliminating indoor mask requirements for much of the population.”
Paul went a step further, announcing that he intends to force a vote on ending the mandate once and for all:
Apparently government doesn't want to relinquish its power and plans to extend the mask mandate on planes & public transportation. Not on my watch! I'll be forcing a vote next week to end this unscientific mandate. https://t.co/h4sDuqaqUg
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 10, 2022
A body of publicly available evidence indicates the ineffectiveness of masks, such as the CDC’s September 2020 acknowledgement that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, or a May 2020 study published by CDC’s peer-reviewed journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”
Last May, another study found that, though mandates effectively increased mask use, that usage did not yield the expected benefits. “Mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the researchers found the results to be a net negative, with masks increasing “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” and interfering with communication, as well as impairing social learning among children.
With Democrats controlling Congress and President Joe Biden in the White House, Paul’s vote will not result in an actual end to the transportation mask mandate, but it will force Democrats to formally take a stand on an issue many within the party currently perceive as hurting them. In recent months, Democrat consultants have privately urged the party to distance themselves from lockdowns and mask mandates, advice taken by various governors and mayors across the country.