Biden administration may appeal decision on mask mandate

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“Trump has appointed 234 federal judges,” he added, “and if you end up there or on the Supreme Court, you could really hurt your ability to respond to the pandemic in the future.”

But others have come out strongly in favor of an appeal.

“What worries me is that this judge is saying the CDC doesn’t have the power to protect the health of people in America as they see fit,” said former acting director Dr. Rich Besser. from the CDC. He added that if the ruling stands, it would be “really damaging, because for the next event you have that ruling there and it hasn’t been challenged.”

Politically, support for mask mandates plummeted in opinion polls as it became clearer that healthy people who were vaccinated and boosted – as well as those who weren’t vaccinated but survived to an episode of Covid-19 – are generally at less risk of developing serious or life-threatening symptoms if infected.

“The country clearly wants to move forward,” said David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist who served as a senior adviser to President Barack Obama. “Mandatory masking is a volatile issue. So my instinct is that the path of least resistance would be to step back, because time is running out fast anyway.

But some people remain firmly in favor of such mandates. They highlighted the serious and persistent risk that any infection poses to immunocompromised people despite vaccination, and the fact that very young children – although less likely to show significant symptoms – are not eligible for vaccination.

Monday’s decision surprised and frustrated White House officials, two senior officials said. But on Tuesday, as travelers on planes received instructions from pilots to unmask and passengers on public transit systems traveled without masks, the Biden administration did not outline a detailed plan to challenge the decision, even though public health experts have warned that the CDC’s authority to prevent the spread of a contagious virus is at stake.

At the CDC, officials felt their latest extension of Mask’s warrant was reasonable, to give them time to assess the evidence and make a considered decision on whether to prosecute him.

“CDC scientists had asked for 15 days to make a more data-based, sustainable decision,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the White House’s new coronavirus response coordinator, wrote on Twitter. “We should have given them. But I will continue to follow CDC advice and mask up on planes.

Katie Rogers contributed report.

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