The federal government has extended its mask mandate to planes, trains and buses once more, angering Congress Republicans and the travel industry. Citing an uptick in new cases during early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the existing federal mask mandate—which was set to expire on April 18—will continue until at least May 3.
In a Wednesday statement, CDC stated that the order remains in force while it assesses potential impacts of rising cases of severe illness, such as hospitalizations, deaths and capacity of the healthcare system.
The Biden administration also extended the federal government’s public emergency for health, which was declared first in January 2020. The federal government will end the emergency on July 15, 2022.
Two years after emergency masking, the airline industry has been critical of their refusal to restore normalcy to customers.
Nicholas Calio of Airlines for America stated in a letter to CDC that “it is difficult to understand why Masks are still necessary on airplanes but not in crowded bars, restaurants, in packed sports arenas; schools full of kids; or at large indoor politics gatherings.”
Federal data indicate that there are around 85 per cent of those flying today, compared to the time before COVID-19.
The CDC order also has a negative impact on public transportation. The country’s biggest rail system is experiencing a halt in ridership, with only one-third of the population returning to work from pre-pandemic. A slow return to work, as well as service cuts and other factors explain the majority of these lost riders. It is not helpful to have to wear a mask.
The mask mandate continues to drag on, and so do efforts by Congress Republicans to have it overturned by the courts.
In March, Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.), Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), and 15 other Republican members of Congress sued the CDC over its masking requirement, arguing it was beyond the agency’s powers to unilaterally impose such a mandate.
Congress has never passed any law mandating commercial planes be fitted with masks. Massie, a press release from Massie at that time stated that his lawsuit was directed against those bureaucrats responsible for the CDC’s unscientific regulation. Massie said in a statement that they are seeking to bring an end to the illegal mask mandate.
According to Twitter, the Congressman announced that they are seeking a national injunction on Friday against the CDC’s enforcement of its mask order.
This is the reason I’m suing @CDCgov. @RandPaulThe lawsuit was joined by 16 representatives of Congress. DOJ had until Friday last Friday to respond to the case assigned by the federal judge. This Friday, we will submit our reply. Looking for a national injunction.https://t.co/79kBfvzpCF
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 14, 2022
A bill that Paul sponsored and would have stopped the CDC mask mandate was passed the Senate last month with bipartisan support. The bill has been stalled by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
It looks as though you will be wearing a mask while you ride the train between your office and the bar.
Elon Musk, a billionaire, offered to purchase all Twitter for free speech. Musk, who purchased 9.2 per cent of Twitter’s stock earlier this month had already become the largest shareholder in social media companies. Musk was clearly not satisfied with his appetite.
I made an offer https://t.co/VvreuPMeLu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2022
Musk said in a statement that “I invested in Twitter because I believed in its potential as a platform for freedom of speech around the world, and I believe it is a social imperative for functioning democracy.” letterYesterday’s email was sent to Bret Taylor (Twitter Chairman). Twitter is a powerful tool. It is my goal to unlock it.”
Musk previously voiced dissatisfaction about Twitter’s moderation policies for content, saying they were an affront to freedom of expression. On Twitter, Musk thought about creating his own social media rival.
The potential Musk acquisition of Twitter has sparked reactions delightSome expressed hopes for a more open platform. Others were horrified by the idea that Vladimir Putin’s billionaire dream of a “libertarian internet” is a direct play on his hands.
Inflation that has been at an all-time high for decades is also affecting producers.Wednesday’s increase in producer price index (an inflation measure that measures prices paid to U.S. suppliers) was 11.2 percentage over last year. News The Wall Street Journal:
This was the fourth consecutive month of double-digit gains, and the best since 2010 when records started.
Rising producer prices were a sign that demand is strong, partly fueled by government stimulus. This has led to prices rising due to supply disruptions and high prices.
China continues its harsh arrest of Shanghai’s 25,000,000 inhabitants. The Reports Bloomberg:
China’s financial center has been locked down for three weeks. This is the latest example of anti-government sentiment on social media. The latest trending post to get censored featured an 82-year-old man pleading for medication with a local party official who said he could offer only traditional Chinese remedies….
Food shortages may have subsided in some areas, but protests and simmering anger are common among 25 million people who live in poverty with no signs of it ending. Tens of thousands have shared on social media acts of rebellion and suicide reports on Weibo. WeChat censors swiftly removed some of the posts.
• Russia has said that any effort by Finland and Sweden to join NATO would see it deploy more forces to the Baltic region.
• Alleged New York City subway shooter Frank James was arrested on Wednesday. Zack Tahhan (a 21-year old Syrian-born immigrant) has been a sensation on the internet after he claimed that he had tipped off police to James’ whereabouts. The source from law enforcement told the New York Post James called the police and made an arrest.
• The crew of Russia’s Black Sea fleet flagship abandoned the vessel yesterday after it was reportedly struck by a Ukrainian missile.
• NASA says its astronauts are not quite ready to spend an extended period of time on the moon.
• Election integrity hawk Mark Meadows was removed from voter rolls in North Carolina as part of a state investigation into whether the former Trump White House chief of staff had fraudulently registered to vote in the state.
• Is Elon Musk really justIs he trolling potheads by his Twitter takeover offer?
The offer price includes also the number 422, widely known as coded marijuana reference. He chose $420 to be the share price in the event that Tesla goes private in 2018. This move was subject to scrutiny from the SEC. https://t.co/TsuezctxS5
— Tom Angell ????????ⓥ (@tomangell) April 14, 2022