Sen. Ted Cruz, like any American who has been on an airplane in the past few months, has seen the signs and heard the constant warnings that “federal law requires that you wear a mask” on flights. And he’s had enough.
“The last I checked under our constitutional system if federal law requires it then it is appropriate for the United States Congress to make that determination,” Cruz said in a congressional hearing. “Because the only way something becomes federal law in this country is if Congress passes a law and it’s signed by the president.”
Forcing people to wear masks on planes is performative theater.
Allowing people who have been vaccinated to choose not to wear a mask is a common sense step to take. pic.twitter.com/vthjqamEJo
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) June 16, 2021
The federal mask mandate on public transportation, which was enacted Feb. 1 and was set to expire May 11, was recently extended until September. Failure to comply can result in fines starting at $250 and increasing up to $1500.
Cruz said he was disheartened by the politicization of the CDC and the “deeply troubling” emails from Dr. Fauci that too often “engaged in politics rather than science.” He argued that the CDC’s latest guidance that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks should apply to airlines.
Cruz pointed out the hypocrisy of vaccinated government officials not needing to wear masks while federal mandates force vaccinated airline passengers wear them:
Sen. Fisher and I are sitting as close as we would be sitting if we were sitting on an airplane. We’re not wearing a mask and indeed not a single senator in this hearing room is wearing a mask; not a single Democrat, not a single Republican is wearing a mask, because shock of all shocks: science actually means something and vaccines work. This mandate right now is hurting the aviation industry because it is depressing demand for commercial aviation.
Cruz said that in a recent 11-hour flight to Israel, flight attendants woke passengers up if their masks fell even slightly below their noses while sleeping.
“This is performative theater. This is not science, this is not keeping anyone safe,” Cruz said. ” One way to encourage people to be vaccinated is for their actually to be a difference in what you can do after you’ve been vaccinated. And I think repealing this requirement and allowing people who have been vaccinated to choose not to wear a mask on an airplane would increase demand, increase travel, and would tie the policy to the science.”