This past Tuesday, the top two rideshare titans, Lyft and Uber, have finally ended their mask mandates for both drivers and riders.
This decision follows in the wake of a ruling from U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Monday that confirmed that all federal travel mask mandates were unlawful because they "exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions."
"As of April 19, 2022, riders and drivers are not required to wear masks when using Uber," stated the company on its website. "However, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask if you have certain personal risk factors and/or high transmission levels in your area."
"Remember: many people still feel safer wearing a mask because of personal or family health situations, so please be respectful of their preferences," reads the release from Uber's website. "And if you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip."
Uber continued this string of announcements by stating that its previous "no-front-seat" policy has been officially removed.
In the same vein, Lyft put forth its own statement, adding that "everyone has different comfort levels, and anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so."
Once the ruling had been issued from Mizelle, many larger airlines removed their own mask mandates. Along the same lines, Amtrak put an end to its mandate while still encouraging its passengers to continue wearing their masks as an "optional preventative measure."
A quick Monday release from the Biden administration stated that officials will start considering "potential next steps," while still admitting that the CDC's previous masking order is no longer in effect.
"The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps," stated an official for the administration. "In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings."
When questioned about the approach from the administration towards the various masking policies by Peter Doocy with Fox News, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went off and claimed that she is "not a doctor."
"You said about this mask ruling out of a federal court in Florida that it’s a ‘disappointing decision,’ and you say you continue to recommend that people wear masks," Doocy posited. "Why is it that we can sit here in the White House briefing room with no masks, but people can’t sit in an airplane cabin with no masks?"
"Well, Peter, I’m not a doctor," shot back Psaki. "You’re not a doctor — that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that today — until today."
"Can confirm," answered Doocy.
"Okay, not a doctor," Psaki stated. "Just making sure. I don’t know."
"Some people can still wear a mask if they want to — many people do — or wear them in meetings or wear them at certain times where you’re going to be around or sitting close to people, or maybe you have an immunocompromised parent or — or friend," claimed Psaki. "And so people make that decision. And there’s — this is based on health considerations and data that the CDC looks at about transmissibility as — as we’ve seen an increase in cases on — on airplanes."