WASHINGTON, D.C. – 17 Republican members of Congress filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an attempt to force the agency to end its air travel mask mandate that it instituted in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The GOP lawmakers, headed up by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), stated in court documents filed on Monday that the CDC does not possess the authority to enforce their airplane mask mandate. The lawsuit – Massie et al v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – maintains that the CDC mandate pertaining to commercial airlines is illegal and should be ended.
In a statement issued about the lawsuit, Massie said the mandate would only have legal weight if it was in the form of duly-passed legislation, as opposed to the CDC’s simple decree.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not have the legal authority to force people traveling on commercial airlines to wear masks,” he said. “Congress never passed a law requiring masks on commercial flights. This lawsuit targets the faceless bureaucrats who are behind the CDC’s unscientific regulation so that this illegal mask mandate can be brought to a permanent end.”
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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who was also quoted in the statement, referred to the CDC’s mask mandate as being “unconstitutional.”
“I’ve been leading the charge in the Senate to end these unscientific, unconstitutional mask mandates, and am proud to continue the fight by joining Rep. Massie on this effort,” he said.
Aside from the CDC itself, other defendants in the case include CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and the agency’s Chief of Staff, Sherri Berger.
In addition to Massie, the other GOP lawmakers involved in the CDC lawsuit are Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Rep. Chip Roy, (R-TX).
The airline mask mandate was recently extended to April 18.