Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced legislation on Friday that would prohibit the federal government from reviving mask mandates on air travel, public transit and in schools.
The Georgia Republican’s legislation would prevent any federal official, including President Biden, from imposing a mask mandate on flights, public transit, and at schools of every level. The measure also prevents commercial airlines, public transit authorities and educational institutions from denying services to people that do not want to wear a mask.
Ms. Greene’s measure, called the Freedom to Breathe Act, comes as several businesses and schools throughout the country have reimposed mask mandates in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases.
Ms. Greene called out Morris College, a university in Atlanta, for reinstating a mask mandate in August. She said on X, formerly Twitter, that Americans have had enough of “COVID hysteria.”
“Dr. Fauci privately recommended not wearing a mask to his close friends, admitting they weren’t effective, yet he provided nationwide public health guidance stating Americans be required to mask in nearly all social settings, including while on public transit and in schools,” Ms. Greene said in a statement announcing the legislation.
“Even Joe Biden himself declared the pandemic is over! We cannot allow our country to be sucked back into the COVID hysteria that ushered in unscientific and nonsensical health mandates like blanket masking policies,” she added.
The measure would also stop Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra from issuing mask mandates in planes, public transit and classrooms during public health emergencies, and prevent federal funding from being used to impose mask mandates in those places.
The bill picked up numerous cosponsors in the GOP-controlled House. So far, 13 lawmakers have thrown support behind the bill.
Ms. Greene introduced her measure as a companion to a bill from Sen. J.D. Vance, Ohio Republican.
Mr. Vance’s version of the measure was blocked by Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, on Thursday when the Senate Republican attempted to pass the bill by unanimous consent. Mr. Markey contended that the bill would inhibit state and local officials from making decisions “about what’s best for their communities.”