The US government is appealing a court ruling that controversially lifted a federal mask mandate on US public transport earlier this week, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
After the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s top health body, assessed “that an order requiring masking in the transportation corridor remains necessary to protect the public health, the department has filed a notice of appeal,” spokesman Anthony Coley said.
A US federal judge on Monday struck down the Covid-19 mask mandate, stating that it exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority.
Policymakers in Washington had decided just the prior week to extend it through May 3.
Although the public has a “strong interest” in combating the spread of Covid, the mask mandate “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority,” and it “failed to adequately explain its decisions,” US district judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida said in her decision.
Multiple major airlines subsequently dropped their mask mandates on domestic flights and some international flights, while ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft as well as passenger rail Amtrak additionally announced an end to mask requirements.
Polling suggests continued majority support for indoor mask mandates, but with a clear minority opposed.
A YouGov America poll conducted April 18 found 63% “strongly” or “somewhat” support US government requirements for masks on public transport.