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As mask mandates are dropped across the country, one of the few places left where a face covering is still required is in the air. On Friday’s episode of “Morning Wire,” Georgia Howe and John Bickley speak with The Daily Wire’s Cabot Phillips about a group of airline CEOs who are urging the federal government to finally lift the mandate.
The Biden administration extended the mask mandate earlier this month, which is now set to expire on April 18.
After noting that this kind of unity among competing businesses is a rare phenomenon, Phillips said that the “CEOs of Delta, American, United, Alaska … and more signed a joint letter to the White House” saying that it’s time to sunset the mask mandates.
“Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions — including the international pre-departure testing requirement and the federal mask mandate — that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” wrote the CEOs.
The letter also pointed out the hypocrisy in requiring masks for air travel while simultaneously allowing people to gather maskless in other public spaces such as restaurants and sporting events.
“The letter cited the fact that their employees are being put in a tough position by enforcing a mandate that few passengers, or the employees themselves, feel is necessary at this point,” Phillips added. “They also cited the thousands of in-flight incidents that have been reported because of altercations over masks.”
Bickley then asked Phillips about a recent vote in the Senate regarding the travel mask mandate.
Phillips responded, stating that Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) bill to overturn the mandate, which was introduced on March 15, received bipartisan support. “It actually passed with a 57-40 vote, including 8 Democrats,” Phillips said. “It’s worth noting four of those Democrats who broke with their party are up for re-election this November.”
The singular Republican to vote against Paul’s bill was Mitt Romney of Utah — and despite the remarkable bipartisanship on display, the White House vowed that President Biden would veto the bill if it arrived at his desk.
Though the Biden administration hasn’t addressed the letter from the CEOs, “they said they’d consult with the CDC and other pertinent agencies to make a decision when the time was right,” said Phillips, but that was weeks ago.
With all 50 states having axed indoor mask mandates, and polling indicating growing distaste for the measures, it will be difficult for the administration to continue to justify requiring masks on airplanes.
“We’ve also talked about how the Democrat message has shifted on COVID as public sentiment has changed, and President Biden is no exception. But in this case, his actions aren’t really in line with his messaging,” Phillips said, noting that the CEOs referenced Biden’s State of the Union line that “COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.”
Friday’s episode of “Morning Wire,” and all episodes of “Morning Wire,” can be listened to here.