Sen. Rand Paul Vows To Introduce Bill Repealing Mask Mandate On Planes

Topline

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday pledged to introduce a bill repealing part of President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating masks on public transit as senators in both parties call for an updated guidance from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Key Facts

Paul tweeted that he will introduce an “immediate repeal of the mask mandate on planes” when the Senate returns next week, adding, “let people travel in peace!”

Paul has been one of the Senate’s most vocal anti-maskers, catching heat from fellow senators for his refusal to wear a mask in the chamber and urging Biden to “light a torch and burn his mask” to encourage vaccinations.

Paul has also said he won’t get the coronavirus vaccine because of his past infection and criticized the Biden administration’s efforts to push more Americans to take the vaccine.

Paul’s announcement comes after five senators, three Democrats and two Republicans, sent a letter to the TSA and Centers for Disease Control requesting details on how they plan to update their mask requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.

Key Background

Among several executive orders Biden signed on his first full day in office in January to combat the pandemic, one mandated masks on public transit like airplanes and trains, as well as airports, while requiring foreign travelers to test negative for coronavirus before entering the U.S. The CDC has since updated its guidance to allow fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks.

Big Number

75%. That’s the share of unruly-passenger reports to the Federal Aviation Administration this year which concern passengers who refused to wear masks, with incidents escalating to profanity, shouting and even violence, the agency says.



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