Leslie Manookian, HFDF president, and Brant Hadaway, HFDF attorney, discuss their win against the Biden administration and CDC’s Travel Mask Mandate.
You can read the conversation between Steve, Leslie, and Brant below.
Steve: We’ve got Leslie from the Health Freedom Defense Fund. And the lawyer on this case, Brant Hadaway. Brant, where do we stand this morning or legally about what’s going on? Cause it looks like there’s just mass confusion by the Biden administration who I thought told me they were just going to follow the science. Where do we stand in your mind, sir? Since you’re the tip of the tip of the spear on this.
Brant: Well, all I’ve heard from DOJ is what they published publicly in the media, which is that DOJ recommends appealing, but they’re leaving it up to the CDC to decide, whether the mask order has to remain in place, which is kind of a strange way of handling it. They seem to be throwing CDC under the bus here.
Steve: So, how do I interpret that in English? If they say CDC should handle it, I thought the judges ruled that… Cause this is a blow, you know our focus here is the deconstruction of the administrative state. This is one of the most important rulings ever taking on the administrative state. Right. I thought the judge has basically ruled that the CDC couldn’t do that. So justice is going to lean back on that. We’re going to appeal on that grounds. I mean, that’s, what’s got me confused. Explain it to me simply so I can understand it.
Brant: Okay. Well, the Judge basically broke it down into three parts.
The first part of her ruling was that the CDC didn’t have the statutory authority to do what it did. the second part of the ruling was that it failed to allow notice and comment as required by the administrative procedure act and failed to show good cause why it didn’t provide for notice and comment.
And third is that the rule was arbitrary and capricious because the CDC failed, to really reasonably explain why it was doing what it was doing and why it drew the lines the way it did, for example, an exemption, up to two years, what was the reason for that cutoff age? Why was it not arbitrary?
And so just reading the tea leaves, I think DOJ may be concerned about the first part. They can always clean out the procedural problems, at least in theory. but the first part about the statutory authority is what has to be giving the administration heartburn.
And I think that’s the reason why DOJ recommends appealing. If they’re leaving it up to CDC to decide whether to appeal. It’s a rather strange situation.
Steve: It is strange the first part is the blow against the administrative state. But as important is number three, arbitrary and capricious, there’s nothing to CDC can do.
There’s no data that you’ve looked at. There’s no information that they can come back and make it any less arbitrary. And capricious. Do you think, sir, isn’t that also a big hangup? The DOJ is going to have in any kind of appeals?
Brant: In my opinion, yes. I think that the science on this is very problematic for them. And I think it’s very hard for them to show. And I don’t think they can show that masking people on airplanes or other transportation has had any impact on interstate spread of the virus. In fact, there was a study in Europe recently that showed that other travel restrictions such as mandatory testing and quarantine only delayed the peak of an omicron wave by two to four days at the most.
And there’s no doubt that you would find a similar outcome with masking. And so they do have a problem there. Now they could come back and try to be more thorough in their presentation on the administrative record, but one can only speculate as to what that might be or what it would look like.
Steve: Is there any doubt in your mind, Brant that you win on appeal?
Brant: Well, you know, as lawyers, we’re not allowed to guarantee results, right? It’s sort of an ethical prohibition that’s imposed upon us, but I feel very confident about our chances on appeal. I think the judge’s ruling was very thorough and thoughtful and she left open a couple of other avenues that we could raise on appeal that she did not address.
Steve: Leslie, tell us you’re the founder and the president, you’re the driving force in the back of this, and people this is David versus Goliath. Where David won with the first stone, right? You’ve got a bunch of other stones in the sling to walk us through your strategy of going forward here. And am I missing it? Is this kind of confusing to you too but what the administration’s trying to do here?
Leslie: Well very much so, because if there’s an emergency, we shouldn’t be waiting for CDC to decide that there’s an emergency in a couple of weeks. Whenever they want to review their policy, if there’s an emergency, then it should require immediate action. And so it’s a very peculiar, statement that DOJ has issued because there seems to be no urgency to their statements or to their policy. They’re just going to wait and see what CDC decides to do. And so I find that sort of confusing as a layperson on top of that, you have to bear in mind that CDC’s own science published in May of 2020 showed that none of the measures that have been pushed on the American public in the last two years actually have any effect, literally negligible effects.
And I’m talking about sanitizing environments, frequent hand-washing, and yes, masks. Their own meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard of studies showed that there was negligible impact of any of these measures. And yet their policies persist. It just doesn’t add up. So I think from an American standpoint, most of us want to live in a country that is governed by the rule of law.
And when CDC can be deciding a year after the crisis began that there’s an emergency that warrants putting masks on people, on airplanes or in this case now can wait another two weeks before they decide what to do or who knows how long it will be. That doesn’t sit well with the American public, I believe.
And I think it’s confusing to people. I think people are done with this, and I think that this undermines CDCs credibility, that they are sitting there waiting for some kind of new data or something when the data keeps showing that it doesn’t work, to make this decision and DOJ has kind of punted it. So it’s a very, very interesting situation in my view.
Steve: That’s why we play the two different clips, you know, in the first clip, I think Willie Geist was talking about the- at least the current polling was at 59%, and then, in the second clip we had, Joe Scarborough saying no, but you know, as people really take the mask off, they’re going to understand that polling is going to shift quickly.
And then you had Chuck Todd coming out and saying hey the administration can get rolled. This was kind of a hill they were going to die on. They made a big deal about this. I mean, when you filed the suit or anything like that, things going to change as, as someone wants to deconstruct this fourth branch of government, the administrative state, that’s wildly out of control.
And this reason Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are on the Supreme court. It’s important when Brant triages the reasons like the judge did number one about the power, the true power of the administrative state. To me in this situation, the most important one is number three, it’s arbitrary and capricious.
And this, you go back to the point that all the data, all the science actually supports the Health Freedom Defense Fund in their lawsuit. And now you have the administration, and now they’re jammed. This is you’ve played this so perfectly. They’re caught in exposed, they’re exposed as feckless and hapless on their own agenda.
And it just signals the weakness to their own people. And that’s what I want all the people that are marginal Democrats to make sure see you’re being led to slaughter here politically. Okay, cause they’re getting rolled every day because they don’t know what they’re doing, but even deeper and more importantly, this is going to strip the mask off Fauci and FDA and CDC and all of it because you’re David versus Goliath, the big stone I think was its arbitrary and capricious. And you guys kind of make stuff up and we’ve actually got- we actually talk about data and science and evidence. We’re evidence-based we’re databased we are what is known in the west as science-based and that’s the power of your suit. And this is why you’ve got them jammed up right now.
And they’re jammed up. They have a Hobson’s choice. Go ahead, Leslie.
Leslie: I read a story the other day about a college professor or a graduate student-professor who asked his grad students, how many of you have trust in federal health agencies? And they laughed. The student body and the whole classroom laughed.
They erupted in laughter. In addition, all of the photos and videos that we’re getting are showing that literally up to 98% of the people are unmasked on airplanes. So the vast majority of America. We are not buying the fear anymore. They don’t want to be subjugated by an unelected, unaccountable CDC, you know, a bunch of bureaucrats.
They have decided for themselves, they want to live and they’ve had enough of it. And I think that if the administration keeps pursuing this policy, they’re going to anger a lot of people, as well as likely, lose the lawsuit. And I’m, I mentioned last night that the appellate, the 11th circuit appellate court already struck down CDCs mandate that people go on cruise lines that depart Florida wear masks and already struck. And the Supreme court struck down the CDC’s eviction moratorium, right? Eviction order moratorium. The precedent is not in the favor of the government on this it’s in our favor. And I think this is going to be a quagmire for them.
If they continue.
Steve: Real quickly, how do people get to you and find out more about what you and Brant had been up to?
Leslie: Healthfreedomdefense.org is our website and you can follow us there on social media. You can link to social media, you can sign up for our newsletter. You can become a member and you can donate there.
Steve: We are going to drive to go check it out, everything that’s okay. Leslie. Fabulous job, Brant thank you so much. You two are real warriors, David versus Goliath. David got them on the first stone. Rudy Giuliani is next in the world room.