Group of airline pilots file suit against CDC, HHS over mask mandate

A group of 10 pilots from American, JetBlue and Southwest airlines are suing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services over the federal mask mandate.

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The pilots claim in the suit that the mandate imposed on airline employees and on passengers pose a risk to pilot health, “imperiling airline safety.”

The mask mandate went into effect in February 2021, nearly a year after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. While most mandates have been dropped as cases of the novel coronavirus have declined, the mask mandate for public transportation remains in place.

The rule is set to remain in effect through at least April 18.

According to the lawsuit, the pilots say the CDC “ignored countless scientific and medical studies and articles showing that face masks are totally ineffective in reducing coronavirus spread but are harmful to human health in at least 68 ways.”

The CDC has consistently said that masks can stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The suit goes on to say that the pilots feel the mask mandate was the cause of “buffoonish” behavior from passengers.

“As pilots for major airlines, we have seen up close and personal the chaos in the sky created by the FTMM (Federal Transportation Mask Mandate), with thousands of reports to the Federal Aviation Administration of ‘unruly’ passenger behavior since the FTMM took effect Feb. 1, 2021.”

The pilots are asking for the mandate to be dropped and the CDC and HHS to be banned from imposing another mask mandate.