CDC’s mask mandate for travel shot down by judge

A federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate for travel on planes, trains and buses.


Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of former President Trump, wrote that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority with the order.


Mizelle’s ruling comes down in part to the definition of the word “sanitation” in the law. She wrote that while the government argued for a broader definition of the word, including preventing disease, she uses a narrower definition “limited to cleaning measures.”


“Wearing a mask cleans nothing,” she wrote.


Mizelle added that the CDC had also failed to follow the rulemaking processes laid out in law and provide a sufficient justification for its mandate.


The ruling can be appealed, but the administration said the order would cease being enforced for now.


The travel mask mandate was one of the few remaining mask orders, as states and localities across the country have largely lifted mask mandates for the general public. Philadelphia is a rare exception in reinstating a more general mask mandate in recent days due to the uptick in cases.