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Two Tampa Bay Women Sue President Biden, Admin For CDC Federal Mask Mandate

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL.- Two women in Tampa Bay have sued President Joe Biden and members of his administration for their airplane mask mandate issued through Executive Order 13998 on January 21, 2021.

Accompanied by Plaintiff Health Freedom Defense Fund, a Wyoming non-profit organization, Sarah Pope of Tampa and Ana Carolina Daza of Safety Harbor accuse the nation’s executive branch of exceeding its powers granted under the U.S. Constitution.

The Co-Defendants with President Joe Biden are Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in his official capacity, The Department of Health and Human Services itself, the Director of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., MPH in her official capacity, the Center itself, the Director of Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Martin S. Cedron, M.D. in his official capacity, and The United States of America.

The lawsuit filed July 12 in federal court cites Biden’s executive order as remiss of any expressed declaration of a national emergency and remiss of attaching the order to an existing federal statute or law, which is required for executive orders to be deemed constitutional.

What followed was a sweeping mask mandate issued by Co-Defendant Martin Cedron of the CDC which was approved by the CDC’s Becerra and Co-defendants Health and Human Services and Walensky.

Miami Plaintiff attorney, Brant C. Hadaway of Hadaway, PLLC, stated in an interview with the Free Press, “The key difference at the heart of this suit (comparing) the Biden and Trump administrations is that Trump stayed within constitutional boundaries. There was talk of travel restrictions, but Trump said there was no constitutional basis. You can agree or disagree with policy, but there is a constitutional process in place which requires Congressional (legislative branch) action.”

In the lawsuit, Hadaway points to an alleged critical inconsistency between Biden’s executive order and the CDC’s actions, stating the CDC cited a national emergency while the president did not. 

It also states the CDC never referenced any appropriate statutory or regular authority to legitimately issue a federal mask mandate, yet instructions have been issued to airline and transportation hub operators that they must exert “best efforts” to ensure the wearing of masks at all times, with few exceptions.

Those best efforts, according to the lawsuit, include “instructing persons that Federal law requires wearing a mask on the conveyance (airplane) and failure to comply constitutes a violation of federal law.” The lawsuit boldly responds to this airline and transportation hub directive as “an outright fabrication, as no such Federal law exists.”

The Plaintiffs further accuse Biden and his administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act, which directs the process that the federal government can use to develop and issue regulations.

Required in this Act is the necessary step of officials making their intentions public so that citizens can comment on proposed rules before acceptance and implementation. Thus, the lawsuit states the executive branch has improperly asserted a “general police power that has traditionally been relegated to the States.”

The CDC apparently attempted to justify bypassing the public comment due to the “state of emergency,” which Biden did not include in his executive order, but the Plaintiffs don’t buy the argument.

The federal mask mandate affects not only airline travelers, but also customers of maritime vessels including ferries, intercity bus transportation, trains, and all other forms of public transportation. Customers of airlines and transportation hubs are subjected to lengthy mask-wearing events averaging from five to ten hours.

The lawsuit refers to an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology which describes a variety of considerable health side effects caused by wearing masks for extended periods of time, or that fit too tightly causing inadequate ventilation.

For Plaintiff Sarah Pope, the threat of anxiety from wearing a mask for extended periods of time keeps her from traveling to Hawaii with her family.

According to the lawsuit, she fears panic attacks. Ana Carolina Daza suffers from anxiety as well, and experiences shortness of breath and a desperate need to remove her mask when she wears it extensively.

But the federal mask mandate indicates that people suffering from anxiety are not exempt from wearing a mask unless it causes “imminent threat of harm.”

This case may open the door to public discussions about anxiety and its ill effects on mask wearers as the Delta variant of COVID-19 threatens to extend mask mandates, legit or not.

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