Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Thursday vented his disgust with federal mask mandates on airplanes.


“When the Senate returns to session, I will be introducing an immediate repeal of the mask mandate on planes. Enough! Time to stop this farce and let people travel in peace!” Paul tweeted.




 Paul is a long-time critic of federal mask mandates.

“I think the burden should be on government. If the government’s going to tell you you can’t go anywhere unless you’re wearing a mask, they should tell you why. And they should present the evidence,” he said in March.


“You’re on the airplane, you wear a mask, you’re sitting this far from people. And then they say when you get off, we’re going to get off six feet apart now.”

“I have been sitting next to some guy three inches from me the whole time. But now we’re going to use science,” Paul added. “And he has to go six feet in front of me to get off the plane. None of this is based in science.”


“It’s all emotionalism. And we’re going to be here forever if we keep listening to these people. The simple fact is if you’ve been vaccinated, and you’re two weeks out from your second one, throw your mask away and do what you want, because Dr. Fauci is overkill on all of this,” the senator said, referring to White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.



In January, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn on planes, trains and other public transport vehicles. The Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration have been charged with enforcement.


The current mask mandate on airplanes expires on Sept. 13, according to the TSA.


Whatever steps Paul takes, they will find support among a growing number of lawmakers who want mask mandates on planes grounded. Last month, several Senate Republicans drafted a resolution calling on the federal Centers for Disease Control to rescind the order it issued in response to Biden’s order.


The resolution was supported by Republican Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Ted Cruz of Texas, Susan Collins of Maine, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, according to a news release on Wicker’s website.


“Over 150 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated and mask mandates have been lifted across the country. But the CDC inexplicably still hasn’t lifted the mask mandate for public transportation,” Cruz said, according to Reuters.


“It’s long past time for President Biden and the CDC to follow the science.”


According to Roll Call, Wicker noted during one hearing that the mandate “being foisted on us now in the name of science is hogwash.”


Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii has suggested the Senate pass a resolution noting that federal agencies imposing mandates “are not infallible.”


“Sometimes they move slowly,” Schatz said. “Sometimes they’re a little too precautionary.”

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida last month introduced the Stop Mandating Additional Requirements for Travel Act, which is aimed at overturning the mask mandate for public transit.


“Americans are working hard to recover from the devastation of COVID-19 and travel is critical to getting our economy fully re-opened. Since the start of the pandemic, I have supported wearing a mask to protect yourself and others. Now, the science has shown we can change course, and mask mandates are being lifted across the country,” Scott said in a news release on his website.


“Just like the federal government should not be in the business of requiring Americans to turn over their vaccination records, it should not be mandating that people wear masks on public transportation. The science just doesn’t support keeping this policy in place. We have to listen to the science and work together to move America forward. I know Americans will do the right things to stay safe, and I hope my colleagues join me in passing this important bill.”

 

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