‘This is theater:’ DeSantis backs pilots suing CDC over mask mandate on airplanes

American, JetBlue, Southwest pilots say policy unconstitutional

ORLANDO, Fla. – A group of pilots is suing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to remove the federal mandate that requires masks on airplanes.

The mandate was scheduled to expire Friday, but the government extended it for at least another month, despite COVID cases falling nationwide.

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The pilots, who work for American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, say the mandate is illegal and unconstitutional.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the issue Thursday, saying the mandate should be lifted.

“You go on an airplane (and) if you just want to sit there and read a magazine without a mask, they say that’s the worst thing in the world. But the person right next to you pulls their mask down and fakes sipping on water for two hours (and) they don’t have to wear the mask. I mean, give me a break. This is theater,” DeSantis said.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to lift mask requirements on public transportation. President Joe Biden said he would veto the measure, if it’s passed by the House.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.