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CDC Official Defends Public Transportation Mask Order Amid Push for Mandates To Be Revoked

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A senior official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is defending an order for masks to be worn on public transportation amid a push from some lawmakers for the mandates to be lifted.

According to Marty Cetron, director for the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, the agency’s “current position” on the matter is the mandate should not be revoked, as Reuters reports.

“Masks are really powerful and we should make sure they’re part of our arsenal,” Cetron said during an interview.

He added, “We mask not just to protect ourselves – we mask because it’s the way we take care and express our concern for each other.”

As the outlet notes, the rule requires passengers to wear masks on “airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares and at transport hubs like airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations and ports.”

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Cetron explained, “The truth is that the unvaccinated portion that’s out there is extremely vulnerable.”

The health official says he understands “we’re all just over this emotionally but I do think we will succeed together if we realize the virus is the enemy and it’s not your fellow citizen or the person sitting next to you on a plane or a piece of cloth that you have to wear over your face.”

Cetron also told Reuters the CDC is constantly reviewing the mandate, adding, “If the pandemic were to suddenly disappear before then we have the ability to take down the order.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021 on Wednesday, as IJR reported.

Should masks be worn on public transportation?

“The federal government forcing the American people to continue to wear masks despite the fact that we’ve already reached herd immunity is ridiculous and needs to end immediately,” Paul said in a statement.

He added, “I am introducing the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021 to put a stop to this nanny state mandate of requiring masks on public transportation. In a free [country] people will evaluate their personal risk factors and are smart enough to ultimately make medical decisions like wearing a mask themselves.”

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