Group of Pilots From Major Airlines Is Suing the CDC Over Mask Mandate

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Geovien So/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A group of 10 pilots from JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines is suing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over its federal transportation mask mandate. According to the lawsuit, the mandate ignores scientific studies that show masks don’t prevent COVID. And it also puts pilots’ health at risk, Yahoo News reports.

At a Glance

  • Pilots with three major airlines are suing the CDC over mask rules.
  • The suit claims that mask mandates ignore scientific studies showing it is “ineffective.”
  • Furthermore, the claimants say that masking can cause serious health issues.
  • The pilots also noted that policies have caused unsafe working conditions due to “unruly” passengers.

Pilots Claim Mask Mandates are “Ineffective” and Dangerous

The mask mandate went into effect in 2020, when COVID first began to spread. And over the months and years, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has continuously extended the rule under the guidance of the CDC. Most recently, the administration lengthened the mandate until April 18, at the earliest.

“[The] CDC will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor,” TSA wrote in a statement. “This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science. We will communicate any updates publicly if and/or when they change.”

The claimants say that the policy “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.”

Mask Mandates Caused an Unprecedents Amount of ‘Buffoonish Behavior on Planes’

The pilots also stressed that mask policies cause passengers to become unruly. And they had concerns about the safety of staff members who have to deal with those situations.

“As pilots for major airlines, we have seen up close and personal the chaos in the sky created by the [Federal Transportation Mask Mandate],” they wrote.

Apparently, 2021 was the worst year yet with “buffoonish behavior on planes.”

The FAA reported 4,290 mask-related incidents last year. And most of those issues came from people refusing to put on face coverings. Since January, the agency has slapped people with a total of $682,000 fines over masks.

The suit also states that the CDC failed to acknowledge that the mandate “impairs pilots’ health” and can, in turn, cause dangerous situations during flights.

“Wearing a mask before and during flight causes us numerous medical deficiencies,” the lawsuit reads. “Extended wearing of a mask, which has become a part of routine life, has led to the emergence of ‘mask fatigue.’ Mask fatigue is defined as the lack of energy that accompanies, and/or follows prolonged wearing of a mask.”

Because of these complaints, the group urges the CDC and TSA to drop all mask mandates nationwide.