- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 13, 2021

A Washington man lost his request Tuesday to upend the federal mask mandate for travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 like him.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas declined Lucas Wall’s request to issue an injunction against the federal mandate.

Mr. Wall, a journalist who lives in Washington, D.C., suffers from Generalized Anxiety Order, which prevents him from wearing a face mask. He said the mask makes him feel as though he’s having a panic attack and that it’s difficult to breathe.

“I knew it was a long shot, but I had hoped Justice Thomas would take a more in-depth look at the issue and at least ask the solicitor general to file a response,” Mr. Wall told The Washington Times. “That’s really frustrating.”

Last month, he filled out a medical exemption form with an airline but was denied the ability to fly between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale due to the federal mask requirement, which does not distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.

“It is essentially stranding millions of Americans in place,” Mr. Wall said. “There’s just no legal authority for them to do this.”

Mr. Wall sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June in federal district court in Florida, and says he will have to continue his legal battle there.

“Plan now is to go back to district court and keep pressing the case there. Sadly that means there won’t likely won’t be any decision until at least September,” he said.

A spokesperson from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the case Tuesday and a spokesperson from the Justice Department declined to comment.

Mr. Lucas organized a GoFundMe for his legal expenses, saying it is just too costly to hire a lawyer, and has decided to represent himself. He has raised more than $1,200.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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