Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is urging the Justice Department to drop its appeal of a ruling that struck down the mask requirement for public transportation.
“Americans’ decisions to wear masks should be up to them,” Ernst says. “…Americans are tired of the masks. They’re ready to move on and get on with their life.”
Last week a federal judge in Florida ruled the Centers for Disease Control had 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’s now up to Americans to decide whether to mask up and she says pursuing an appeal creates uncertainty for businesses and travelers.
“This is a point in the pandemic, and I wish that we would start calling it an endemic, that people can make up their own mind,” Ernst says.
The now cancelled nationwide mask mandate for public transportation was set to expire May 3. Ernst says the Biden Administration should focus its public health measures on immigrants who are illegally crossing the southern border.
“You don’t know if they have been vaccinated. You don’t know if they are carrying COVID,” Ernst says. “You simply 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 wait for immigration court action on their cases. Human rights groups say the policy has led to an increase in violence in areas where migrants are waiting in Mexico. Ernst and other Republicans say ending the policy will lead to a dramatic increase in illegal border crossings.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)