President Biden to sign Mask Mandate for Planes, Trains, Airports and More
Today, Thursday January 21st, the newly elected President Joe Biden will be signing an executive order mandating mask usage at airports and onboard planes, trains, ships, and intercity buses. This follows his executive order yesterday mandating use of masks on all federal lands and property.
As the death toll from the Coronavirus passes 400,000, this mask mandate comes at a time when the pandemic is still raging out of control in the USA.
As many of our friends who work in the airline and hospitality industry have told us, the apathy of many have caused unending stress and anger with a few confessing to me in private that their desire to show up to work is at all time lows.
According to the Washington Post, Pete Buttigieg today in his prepared remarks in front of congress mentioned the need for this change.
“Safety is the foundation of the department’s mission, and it takes on new meaning amid this pandemic,” he said in his remarks. “We must ensure all of our transportation systems — from aviation to public transit, to our railways, roads, ports, waterways and pipelines — are managed safely during this critical period, as we work to defeat the virus.”
The post goes on to describe how Biden’s pending order, “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel,” also will instruct agencies “to develop options for expanding public health measures for domestic travel and cross-border land and sea travel and calls for incentives to support and encourage compliance with CDC guidelines on public transportation.”
Just over a week ago, the FAA mentioned in a tweet that they would not be playing around anymore, instituting a no-warning system if you’re found disrupting a flight or threatening the safety of said flight.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing the agency to take strong action against any passenger who disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time. No warnings! https://t.co/R6ZunIDuy8 #FlySmart #FlightAttendants pic.twitter.com/pxuJ6enQ2n
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) January 13, 2021
How the CDC weighs in
Under the Trump administration, the agency had simply heeded a “strong desire” and suggestion for people to wear masks, which as we all know works about as well as “free samples, limit one please…”
“People should wear masks when traveling into, within, or out of the United States on conveyances,” the agency said in the earlier guidance. “Local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected people travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks.”
Science and facts shouldn’t be something to be politicized. It’s no wonder that people don’t want to wear masks when prior leaders made it such a non-priority. Something as simple as wearing a piece of cloth over your face shouldn’t cause so much angst.
Here’s to hoping that this federal mask mandate, along with companies enforcing their own rules, will help to slow the spread and get us back to normal.