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Officials said that the Department of Justice is filing an appeal aiming to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that struck down the federal mask mandate on public transportation.
A notice of appeal was filed Wednesday in federal court in Tampa, Florida.
CDC ASKS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO PROCEED WITH MASK MANDATE APPEAL
That came just minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision.
The agency said Wednesday that it is the “CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health.”
“CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine whether such an order remains necessary. CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health,” its statement read.
WHY BIDEN DAWDLED AS ONE JUDGE DERAILED HIS TRANSPORTATION MASK MANDATE
It remained unclear whether the Biden administration would ask the appeals court to grant an emergency stay to reimpose the mandate.
The Transportation Security Administration, airlines and some transit companies lifted their requirements following Monday’s ruling, but some airports and transit systems released statements doubling down on mask requirements.
The CDC had recently extended the mandate until May 3, citing the BA.2 omicron subvariant that is spreading across the U.S. Monday’s court ruling put that on hold.
The Biden administration has offered mixed messages in the wake of that ruling, with the president suggesting it’s up to passengers to decide whether to wear a mask during travel.
The White House continues to require face coverings for those traveling with Biden on Air Force One.
Reaction to this week’s events has been divided, with some airlines making changes mid-flight.
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In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said that he thinks it’s “very unlikely that a mask requirement is going to come back anytime in the foreseeable future.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.