Ernst says AG should drop appeal of ruling that ended public transport mask mandate


Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst is urging the Justice Department to drop its appeal of a ruling that overturned the mask requirement for public transportation.

“The decision of Americans to wear masks should be theirs,” Ernst says. “…Americans are tired of masks. They are ready to move on and move on with their lives.

Last week, a federal judge in Florida ruled that the Centers for Disease Control exceeded its authority by issuing a mask mandate for planes, trains, buses and subways. Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, points to President Biden’s statement last week that it is now up to Americans to decide whether to wear masks and she says pursuing an appeal creates uncertainty for businesses and travelers.

“It’s a time of the pandemic, and I wish we would start calling it endemic, so people could make up their own minds,” Ernst says.

The now canceled national mask mandate for public transport was due to expire on May 3. Ernst says the Biden administration should focus its public health measures on immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

“You don’t know if they have been vaccinated. You don’t know if they are carriers of COVID,” Ernst says. “You just don’t know the background and their circumstances.”

Ernst opposes the Biden administration’s plan to end a Trump-era policy that has sent unauthorized immigrants and asylum seekers back to Mexico to await immigration court action on their case. Human rights groups say the policy has led to increased violence in areas where migrants wait in Mexico. Ernst and other Republicans say ending the policy will lead to a dramatic increase in illegal border crossings.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)

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