MARCH 16, 2022
10 Pilots Sue CDC to Block Never-Ending
Federal Transportation Mask Mandate
Lawsuit: Forced Masking Harms Pilots’
Health, Creates Danger to Aviation Safety
Lead plaintiff Janviere Carlin of Massachusetts, a pilot for JetBlue Airways, said the Biden Administration’s fourth extension of the FTMM, announced March 10 and effective until April 18, forced pilots to take legal action. She described the lawsuit as “patriotic” and “the right thing to do” to protect aviation safety.
“As pilots for major airlines, we have seen up close and personal the chaos in the sky created by the FTMM, with thousands of reports to the Federal Aviation Administration of ‘unruly’ passenger behavior since the FTMM took effect Feb. 1, 2021 – nearly all of which have been caused by incidents related to masks,” the complaint states. “We have serious concerns about the safety implications of the mask mandate, none of which were studied by CDC or HHS as the policy was rushed into place only 12 days after the inauguration of a new president who made a national mask mandate a top campaign promise – even though he acknowledged it was likely unconstitutional.”
Cristina Field of South Carolina, a pilot for PSA Airlines (American Eagle), said the group is suing CDC because the agency did not factor in pilots’ unique situations and health requirements in rushing the FTMM into place in a matter of days.
“As airline pilots, we trust our governing organizations to have our best interests in mind,” she said. “When it comes to masks, due diligence wasn’t performed to assess the effects on our physical and mental health. I perform risk/benefit analysis daily as part of my job, and I know the risks of wearing a mask outweigh any benefits. We want to make sure the forced wearing of masks goes away, never to return.”
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