Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) unveiled legislation Wednesday that would prevent the federal government from imposing a mask mandate on public transportation.
Paul, an ophthalmologist, released the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021, which would bar any federal agency from imposing a mask mandate on any public transportation, such as planes or trains.
The Kentucky senator — who had frequently sparred with Dr. Anthony Fauci over mask mandates — said Americans do not need to wear masks because the country had already obtained herd immunity. In many places across the country, Americans do not have to wear a mask; public transportation remains one of the last places in which Americans must continue to do so.
Paul said in a statement Wednesday:
The federal government forcing the American people to continue to wear masks despite the fact that we’ve already reached herd immunity is ridiculous and needs to end immediately. I am introducing the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021 to put a stop to this nanny state mandate of requiring masks on public transportation. In a free county people will evaluate their personal risk factors and are smart enough to ultimately make medical decisions like wearing a mask themselves.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the House Freedom Caucus chair, introduced the companion legislation in the House, and Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Roger Wicker (R-MS) cosponsored the bill in the Senate.
“It is far, far past time to end the federal government’s contradictory one-size-fits-all COVID [Chinese coronavirus] mandates, including the rule requiring masks on planes and public transportation,” Braun said.
Mask mandates have outlived their usefulness, yet they remain in effect on flights and other modes of public transportation. This policy discourages family travel and forces Americans with children — especially those with disabilities — to cancel travel or else live in fear that an untimely tantrum or bad day could ruin their trip and cost them more than a thousand dollars in fines. Our bill will put an end to this unscientific and punitive practice.
“Unelected bureaucrats don’t make laws, Congress does. After over a year of battling COVID-19, our communities and states have reopened, and our nation has finally regained a sense of normalcy,” said Marshall.
He added, “It’s past time for the federal government to restore Americans’ freedoms and remove these unnecessary rules.”
Americans have been told for more than a year to “trust the science,” and the science now says it is safe to resume normal life once we have been vaccinated. Getting the vaccine significantly lowers the risk of contracting and becoming sick from the coronavirus across all activities, including travel. I am pleased to join my colleagues in pushing to end the unnecessary federal mask mandate and bring travel in line with other major sectors of the economy.
Paul introduced the legislation as maskless Democrat members of the Texas state legislature smiled gleefully while fleeing their state for Washington, D.C., to block Texas Republicans from passing legislation to ensure integrity in Texas elections.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.