Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wants the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift its requirement on travelers to wear masks on airplanes and other modes of public transportation before the July 4 holiday.
"Biden’s CDC needs to 'follow the science' and end its mask mandate for vaccinated Americans on airplanes and public transportation," Cruz tweeted Monday morning.
Cruz tweeted Sunday night that "It's long past time for Biden & the CDC to 'follow the science' and end this mask mandate for fully #COVID19 vaccinated individuals. Americans should be able to travel to celebrate Independence Day without having to follow an outdated and unnecessary mandate."
Even though the CDC on May 28 issued interim public health recommendations that fully vaccinated people do not have to be tested before traveling and do not have to quarantine after they have traveled, it still currently recommends fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks while they travel.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) noted the CDC's recommendations when it announced an extension of its mask mandate for all persons inside airports or traveling in commercial airplanes, commuter buses or trains through Sept. 13.
"Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic," Darby LaJoye, senior official performing the duties of the TSA administrator, said. "We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far."
Cruz was leader of a group of GOP senators who introduced a resolution calling for the end of the mask mandate on Friday. The resolution, signed by Cruz and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., pointed out that the CDC already has updated guidance saying that fully vaccinated people should not be required to wear masks in confined spaces.
The resolution says that lifting the mandate on airplanes "would be instrumental in helping the economic recovery of the United States" because it would boost the travel and tourism industries, and "would incentivize a greater number of individuals to receive the COVID–19 vaccine."
A group of bipartisan senators on Sunday sent a letter to the TSA and CDC asking about updated mask guidelines for travelers. Cruz was not part of that group.
The CDC had not responded Monday evening to a request for comment from Fox News, which first reported on the story.
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