Ten Commercial Pilots Sue CDC Over Federal Mask Mandate

March 18, 2022

A group of commercial airline pilots has filed a lawsuit against the CDC in an attempt to repeal the federal mandate for transport masks, according to FOX Business.

The 10 pilots, who work for American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, said the CDC’s mask mandate is an “illegal and unconstitutional exercise of executive authority.”

The pilots argued that the CDC issued its public transit masking order in February 2021 “without public notice or solicitation” and are asking the court to end the mandate.

Following the CDC order, the Transportation Security Administration issued a mask mandate in February 2021, which was set to expire in May 2021. The TSA has extended the mandate several times as the pandemic continued, and last week it extended the policy again until April 18.

Until then, the “CDC will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when and under what circumstances masks should be mandatory in the public transit corridor,” the TSA said in a statement. “This revised framework will be based on COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data and the latest science.”

However, the pilots claimed in their lawsuit that the policy was passed despite “countless scientific and medical studies and articles showing that face masks are totally ineffective.”

The pilots also said they have seen “up close and personal the chaos in the sky”, with thousands of reports of unruly passenger behavior since the mandate came into effect in 2021.

According to the agency’s latest data, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 889 reports of unruly passengers so far this year, with 587 cases related to masks. In 2021, the FAA received nearly 6,000 unruly passenger cases, 4,290 of which were mask-related.

The pilots pointed to the mandate itself as the reason for the unruly behavior, claiming that the CDC has “failed to give unlawful passengers and employees our legally guaranteed option” to refuse a “medical device.” They said a face mask was a medical device.

The pilots also said masks are uncomfortable, make it difficult to breathe, lower blood oxygen levels and cause headaches, according to Newsy.

“You see a lot of frustration with the passengers when they get on the plane,” Jeff Chandler, a Southwest pilot and one of the 10 plaintiffs, told the news channel.

“It makes them get really annoyed and lash out when they would otherwise just be normal and happy people getting on a plane to go do whatever they’re going to do,” he said.

This post Ten Commercial Pilots Sue CDC Over Federal Mask Mandate

was original published at “https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20220318/ten-commercial-pilots-sue-cdc-over-federal-mask-mandate?src=RSS_PUBLIC”