Maui Coronavirus Updates

US Justice Dept. prepared to appeal mask ruling if CDC deems it necessary for public health

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Mask signs were up at Kahului Airport on Maui over the weekend. Following the ruling on Monday, Hawaiʻi Transportation officials said wearing masks on airport property is no longer required, but noted that the CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings. File photo Kehaulani Cerizo

The US Department of Justice plans to file an appeal against a recent order by a federal judge to throw out a transportation mask mandate, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes that the order remains necessary for public health.

US Justice Dept. spokesperson Anthony Coley released a statement regarding the Health Freedom Defense Fund Inc., et. al. v. Biden, et. al. case saying:

“The Department continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health. That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve,” said Coley.

The rule was implemented on Feb. 3, 2021, and required the wearing of masks in airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs, as well as on many public transportation options. It was extended last week to May 3 by the CDC.

On Monday, April 18, US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle declared unlawful and vacated the mask mandate.

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According to the ruling, the court concluded that “the mask mandate exceeds the CDC’ statutory authority,” and maintains that the mandate was implemented without allowing public participation and comment procedures.

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Following the ruling on Monday, Hawaiʻi Transportation officials said wearing masks on airport property is no longer required, but noted that the CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.

Coley said, “If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision.”

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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