The CEOs of several major airline and logistics companies issued a joint statement Wednesday asking the Biden administration to end federal mask mandates.
Noting how “much has changed” since Covid measures were implemented, the CEOs argued that, given the high rate of vaccination and declining infection and death rates, the administration should consider dropping the mask rule.
“Now is the time for the Administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions – including the international pre-departure testing requirement and the federal mask mandate – that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” the corporate execs wrote in a letter disseminated by the Airlines for America trade association. [emphasis theirs]
The CEOs note the pre-departure test requirement is extremely burdensome to US travelers and companies, and highlight the World Health Organization’s own admissions earlier this year that “the failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of Omicron variant to limit international spread of Omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time.” [emphasis theirs]
Addressing face masks, the letter says, “The science clearly supports lifting the mask mandate, as demonstrated by the recently released CDC framework indicating that 99 percent of the US population no longer need to wear masks indoors.”
“Several studies completed before we had the added layer of widespread availability of vaccines… have concluded that an airplane cabin is one of the safest indoor environments due to the combination of highly filtered air and constant air flow coupled with the downward direction of the air,” they added. [emphasis theirs]
They went on to highlight the hypocrisy of requiring masks on airplanes that have superior filtered air, while masks aren’t required at restaurants, schools or sporting events.
“It makes no sense,” the letter continues, “that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do.”
The CEOs of Alaska Air, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United Airlines and UPS all co-signed the letter.
The Transportation Security Administration is set to review the mask mandates regarding public transportation on April 18.
See the full letter below: