Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and several other GOP senators introduced a bill Wednesday to prohibit mask mandates on public transportation.
The act specifically prohibits federal agencies from imposing “any federal requirement related to COVID-19 that an individual wear a face mask when utilizing any conveyance … or transportation hub.”
The CDC issued a federal mask mandate in January for all transit systems. The agency only recently amended the order in June, stating that masks are no longer required for outdoor areas of transportation conveyances.
Paul’s legislation follows Justice Clarence Thomas’s rejection Tuesday of an emergency request that asked the Supreme Court to block the Biden administration’s mask mandate for public transportation.
Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are cosponsoring the bill, with Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) set to introduce the legislation to the House later this week.
The politicians said the legislation was necessary to protect medical freedom and prevent governmental overreach.
Paul said, “In a free country people will evaluate their personal risk factors and are smart enough to ultimately make medical decisions like wearing a mask themselves.” He added that citizens do not need the “nanny state” to enforce illogical laws when the country has already reached “herd immunity.”
Biggs elaborated, “Bottom line, mask mandates are old news, and are only being kept in place by those who relish controlling our day-to-day lives … It’s time for the CDC to follow the science and end the tyrannical COVID-19 restrictions once and for all.”
Cotton said mask mandates are particularly harmful to children, especially those with disabilities. He said that the bill “will put an end to this unscientific and punitive practice” of masking while traveling.
This is not the first time that Paul has advocated for freedom from COVID mandates. The senator has sought transparency on the origins of the coronavirus, has pressured NIAID Director Anthony Fauci about his emails, and has advocated for freedom in the midst of lockdowns.
The senator presented evidence during a Senate Health Committee hearing in June that supported the effectiveness of natural immunity in people who previously contracted COVID-19. He also advocated for vaccine choice.
And just last week, Paul criticized Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D-Ky.) emergency powers in response to COVID, warning that autonomy can be unconstitutionally stripped from citizens.