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CDC Fighting for Power to Mask You

By January 23, 2023January 27th, 2023No Comments
Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in CDC’s appeal of a district court’s ruling vacating the federal travel mask mandate. You can hear the proceedings via the audio link above.

Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF) challenged CDC’s sweeping mask rule on the basis that CDC violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to notice the public, take public comment, properly articulate and justify the rule, and lacked statutory authority for issuing such a far-reaching rule affecting millions of healthy people. 

Noting that CDC did not immediately appeal the district court’s decision, HFDF attorney Brant Hadaway argued, “This is not about an urgent matter of public health.” He continued, had CDC believed the issue was a “matter of life and death” the agency would have sought to expedite the legal process.

Judge Brasher used the words “slam dunk” to describe the plaintiffs’ argument that CDC violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in promulgating the federal travel mask requirement absent public notice and comment. CDC cannot simply state that there is an emergency to justify its actions – but that’s exactly what CDC did when it issued the mask mandate.

Leslie Manookian, president/founder Health Freedom Defense Fund stated: “We believe the district judge’s decision was correct and that the 11th Circuit will affirm. Recent rulings by both the US Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit have made clear that federal agencies must follow the law – whether we are in a state of emergency or not. That CDC failed to do so and imposed this mandate on tens of millions of healthy Americans who ride buses, trains, and planes every day as they go about their daily lives is a blatant violation of our rights and freedoms.” 

HFDF takes issue with assertions from DOJ attorney Brian J. Springer that CDC masks are effective, a small ask, and supported by science. He claimed CDC was considering “updated science” but CDC failed to submit one single Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to the federal register in support of its rule. 

Additionally, the high-quality studies conducted in the last several years demonstrate that masks do NOT work to halt respiratory disease spread.

This point raises a very thorny issue, namely, if CDC has the authority to force a medical intervention that carries risk and is proven ineffective, what are the limits of CDC’s authority?

The case is Health Freedom Defense Fund et al. v. the President of the United States et al., case number 22-11287, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.