The U.S. Department of Justice is filing an appeal to overturn a federal judge’s decision to void the mask mandate for travel.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision made by Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Monday, which lifted the federal mask mandate for airlines, airports, buses, trains and more.

“To protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund,” The CDC said in a public statement. “It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health. CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.”

The CDC and the Biden Administration had planned to extend the mask order until May 3, as the effects of the Omicron BA.2 variant of Coronavirus were being monitored and studied.

The judge struck down that extension and allowed the original expiration date of the order to process.

“The CDC recommended continuing the order for additional time, two weeks, to be able to assess the latest science and keeping with its responsibility to protect the American people,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing Monday. “So this is obviously a disappointing decision. The CDC continues recommending wearing a mask in public transit.”

On the same day as the judge’s ruling, several major airlines, airports, railways and even rideshare companies announced that they would no longer require mask-wearing.

The mask requirement for public transit had been in effect since January 29, 2021.

LA Weekly