WASHINGTON (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will extend its travel mask mandate for two weeks to monitor a potential uptick in COVID-19 cases, according to an Associated Press source.
An untimely wave of new COVID-19 cases has created political headaches for lawmakers as they seek to move the country back to something approaching normalcy. The U.S. Department of Transportation planned to release the masking requirement on Monday, April 18, at the recommendation of the CDC, but a resurgence in positive cases has lawmakers doubling back.
In recent days, several prominent Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas); and two members of President Biden’s cabinet, tested positive for the virus.
According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, the trend in cases turned positive after reaching its lowest point since July 2021.
Republicans have been clamoring to end what they consider onerous health protocols as they continue to claim COVID fatigue has emerged as its own epidemic after more than two years of social restrictions, health care uncertainties and economic upheaval triggered by the global pandemic.
In late March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a federal lawsuit fighting mask mandates for public transportation. The governor called the federal government’s crack-down on mask mandates as, “COVID theater.”