White House Blocked CDC Mask Mandate For Public Transportation: Report
The White House has blocked a national public transportation mask mandate drawn up last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York Times reported Friday.
The CDC was planning to issue an order requiring passengers and employees to wear face masks on planes, trains, buses and subways - and on transit networks, including airports, train stations and bus depots, two federal health officials told the newspaper.
The order, which was reportedly drafted under the agency's quarantine powers, was supported by Alex Azar, secretary of health and human services, according to the Times. However, Mike Pence's coronavirus task force, which should have signed the mandate before it could take effect, refused to discuss the issue. Reportedly, the position of the administration was to allow municipalities to set their own rules.
Masks are considered by scientists and medical experts to be one of the most effective methods of preventing the transmission of the coronavirus.
"We are not defenseless against COVID-19," said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield in an editorial this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Fabric covers are one of the most powerful weapons we need to slow down and stop the spread of the virus - especially when used universally in a community. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. "
The Trump administration, on the other hand, is proving ineffective in the fight against the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 210,000 Americans.
More than 35 cases are linked to a White House event in late September when President Donald Trump announced the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The gathering, at which almost no one wore a mask or observed social distancing guidelines, was chaired by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, called the superspreader event.
Minnesota health officials have since reported that nine people who attended a Trump rally in Bemidji last month also tested positive. Again, few wore masks or observed social distancing guidelines that are helping contain the spread of COVID-19.
Read the entire New York Times piece here.
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