- The Washington Times - Monday, July 19, 2021

Two Florida residents and a health-freedom advocacy group have filed a federal lawsuit to upend President Biden’s federal mask mandate for travel.

The 30-page complaint was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on the same day the Supreme Court rejected another man’s bid last Tuesday to halt the mask requirement.

The two women argue they’re concerned about wearing a mask on long flights, citing fears over anxiety and panic attacks.

The complaint charges that President Biden did not lawfully execute his federal mask mandate, alleging the executive order runs afoul of the 10th Amendment, protecting states’ rights to patrol the public health of its residents.

“The Executive Order cites no statutory authority to support its broad, sweeping mandate, and does not expressly refer to any national emergency,” the lawsuit said.

They’re asking the court to set the federal mask mandate aside and rule it unlawful.

A spokesperson from the Justice Department declined to comment.

Mr. Biden signed the executive order requiring masks to be worn on federal land in January after he took office. It requires face masks to be worn to stop the spread of COVID-19 on airplanes, trains, buses and boats.

But the Health Freedom Defense Fund, which joined the Florida women in filing the lawsuit, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shouldn’t be a police force.

“With no legal authority to do so, these unelected, unaccountable technocrats have forced every citizen in America to wear a mask when they travel,” said Leslie Manookian, president of Health Freedom Defense Fund. “We believe that Americans have the right to think for themselves and make their own health care choices without the meddling of the government.”

On Saturday, a federal appeals court upheld the mask requirement for cruises.

The latest filing in Florida challenging the mandate was filed last week, on the same day Justice Clarence Thomas rejected another man’s attempt to halt the mandate without comment. 

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

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