President Biden recently announced that he would extend the requirements for traveling on planes, trains, and other public transport. Biden spoke at the National Institutes of Health about the strategy to combat the virus and announced that the rule was being extended, requiring passengers to wear masks on flights.
Biden stated during the speech that they are expanding the requirement, both international and domestically to wear masks on flights, trains, and public transport, through the winter months.”
According to reports, the mandate will expire on March 18. The mandate was originally scheduled to expire on January 18, 2022. The rule was extended by the Transportation Security Administration in August. Biden pledged nearly one year ago to use masking “wherever feasible” in his first 100 days of office.
It’s been over 100 days and Biden’s plan didn’t seem to make a difference, given the continual extensions. States with the strictest coronavirus restrictions, such as universal masking, now have the highest coronavirus cases in the country. Florida, which has never had a mandatory statewide mask mandate, continues to report the lowest per capita coronavirus case rate in the country for several weeks.
While the Biden administration continues to advocate masking, it is also pushing vaccines and booster shots. This is despite the fact public health officials originally promoted vaccination as the best way to achieve pre-pandemic normalcy, which is a time when there are no masks or social distancing. Although people were told they could return to pre-pandemic levels, the administration continues to place additional requirements on those who have been vaccinated.
Biden announced that international travelers must submit a negative coronavirus testing within one day of departing, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Biden claimed that the new timeline, which was previously three days long, will offer additional protection while scientists study the omicron variant. This announcement was made one day after the discovery that the variant had been first identified in the United States in a fully vaccinated person.
Biden ended his speech by stating that the actions are “come out of a position of strength” and that they can be rallied behind by all Americans.