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Major Airlines, Amtrak end Mask Mandate after FL Judge Ruling

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Southwest Airlines

The Skies just got a little friendlier after a Florida federal Judge overruled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transportation mask mandate.

Following the ruling Monday by U.S. district judge Kathryn Mizelle, major airlines and Amtrak announced they were ending the requirement to wear masks while traveling. Mizelle ruled that the CDC mandate violated the Administrative Procedure Act, meaning it failed to justify the reasoning behind the mandate; a procedure federal agencies must adhere to.

Just hours after the ruling, a Biden Administration official told media outlets the mandate “is not in effect at the time.” A cause for celebration, “American, Delta, Southwest, United, and Alaska Airlines all said on Monday night that passengers could fly without masks” reports National Review.

Some pilots even made the announcement about the policy change mid-flight. United Airlines sent out a peppy tweet Monday evening with the announcement. “Masks are no longer required on domestic fights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead…the choice is yours (you look Dino-mite either way)!”

Southwest encouraged passengers to make their own decision about whether or not to wear a mask based on what’s best for their “personal wellbeing.” Ten major airline CEOs wrote an open letter to President Biden last month calling on him to end the mask mandate.

“It makes no sense 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 non of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do” the letter stated.

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China

Human Infection of H3N8 Bird Flu Reported in China

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coronavirus covid 19

Will it ever end? On Tuesday this week China’s health authority recorded its first human infection of the H3N8 strain of avian influenza. The variant was identified in a 4-year-old boy from Henan province.

According to a statement from the National Health Commission (NHC) the child raises chickens and crows in his home city of Zhumadian. On April 5 he showed fever and other symptoms, then was admitted to a medical institution five days later for treatment.

The statement indicated while it has been found in horses, dogs, birds and seals around the world, no human cases have ever been reported. Fox News reports the commission “warned the public to avoid contact with sick and dead poultry, as well as live poultry, and pay attention to hygiene.”

In March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses had been detected in 13 states among commercial and backyard poultry, as well as in wild birds of 14 states.

Fortunately, the agency said H5N1 bird flu poses a low risk to the public.

 

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