A group of pilots from Southwest, Jetblue, and American Airlines have slammed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services in the wake of the mask mandate for airlines and airports being extended.
“By mandating masks for all American travelers and employees in the transportation sector, the defendants have acted without statutory authorization or following the rulemaking process required by the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). This mandate also raises serious constitutional concerns. Because of the FTMM [Federal Transportation Mask Mandate], numerous state, local, and regional transportation and airport authorities are told to enforce a federal mandate that is in direct conflict with the laws and policies of all 50 states that prohibit mask mandates or do not require face coverings,” alleged the pilots.
These pilots continue on to state that the CDC “ignored countless scientific and medical studies and articles showing that face masks are totally ineffective in reducing coronavirus spread but are harmful to human health in at least 68 ways.” The pilots highlighted an article from Lucas Well, a well-known opponent of the feral mask mandate who has also slammed several lawsuits against the CDC and airlines in regard to their policies.
“Wearing a mask before and during flight causes us numerous medical deficiencies,” these pilots stated in their lawsuit. “Extended wearing of a mask, which has become a part of routine life, has led to the emergence of ‘mask fatigue.’ Mask fatigue is defined as the lack of energy that accompanies, and/or follows prolonged wearing of a mask.”
The pilots also seemed to claim that these mask mandates have caused “chaos in the sky” with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) getting thousands of reports of instances of “unruly” passenger behavior since the instilling of the mask mandates back on the 1st of February of 2021. The pilots highlighted that almost all of the reports were in relation to masks, going on to add that 2021 was the “worst year on record for buffoonish behavior on planes.”
It was reported by Business Insider that the FAA went on to note that there were well over 4,290 mask-related incidents from 2021, which made up well over 75% of reports in regards to unruly passengers. “Since January of last year, the agency proposed fines of more than $682,000 against unruly passengers,” claimed the outlet.
This FTMM applies to all public transportation, not solely airlines, but that is where it is most heavily focussed and discussed. The original mandate was slated to fall over earlier this month, but as of the 10th, it was pushed out to the 18th of April.
The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) stated that this new extension “will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science.”