By Patrick Delaney
Despite multiple studies confirming that cloth face masks are irrelevant when it comes to providing protection from viruses, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enforce compliance of new federal mask mandates on everyone who uses public transportation.
On January 21, newly installed President Joe Biden issued an executive order imposing significant novel restrictions on travel, including mandating the wearing of masks in airports, and on most forms of public transportation, including commercial aircraft, trains, ferries, and intercity bus services. Soon after, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reinforced essentially the same requirements.
The fines to be levied against those who violate these mandates are substantial. As TSA’s website announced: “Regarding the civil penalty fine structure for individuals who violate the Security Directive, TSA will recommend a fine ranging from $250 for the first offense up to $1,500 for repeat offenders.”
But for those who show an “aggravating” pattern of non-compliance, the fines could be even higher. “Based on substantial aggravating or mitigating factors, TSA may seek a sanction amount that falls outside these ranges,” the agency warns.
Enforcement of this mandate is now the decision of the transportation companies themselves who may contact the TSA to identify scofflaws.
“TSA has provided transportation system operators specific guidance on how to report violations so that TSA may issue penalties to those who refuse to wear a face mask,” states the announcement. These companies and agencies, “will report violators to TSA and TSA may penalize those who refuse to wear a mask within the transportation networks,” according to TSA spokesman R. Carter Langston.
The Washington Post further reports that due process will be afforded those who are subject to civil penalties, including “the right to an informal conference with TSA,” though this process may take “an extended period of time.”
“TSA will fully comply with the President’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and the DHS National Emergency determination to ensure healthy and secure travel across all transportation sectors. This will help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and encourage a unified government response,” said Darby LaJoye, a TSA official.
“As we continue to experience impacts from this pandemic, we are committed to this measure as the right thing to do for the TSA workforce, for our industry stakeholders and for passengers,” he added.
The announcement states, “[t]his requirement will remain effective until May 11, 2021.”
However, in a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, leftist author, journalist and former Clinton advisor Naomi Wolf, indicated that any such “emergency orders” should not be expected to end.
Warning that “under the guise of” COVID-19, the United States is becoming “a totalitarian state before everyone’s eyes,” Wolf, who has studied “closing democracies for 12 years,” stated it can be known “from history that no [political leader] gives up emergency powers willingly. They always drag it on and drag it on.”
Having interviewed many different types of people around the nation, Wolf said they are “absolutely unable to even articulate their fear and horror recognizing that the state” has suspended the rule of law, effectively nullifying our Constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment by “invading our bodies.”
As “there is no real science” justifying these measures, our nation is being “crushed … because autocratic tyrants at the state and now the national level are creating a kind of merger of corporate power and government power which is really characteristic of Italian Fascism in the 20s,” she said.
“Nowhere in the Constitution does it say all this can be suspended if there’s a bad disease. We have lived through typhus, cholera, smallpox, HIV, tuberculosis, polio, the Spanish flu, we’ve lived through an attack on our soil, [and] never have there been months and months and months of emergency powers when we weren’t actually fighting a war. This is completely unprecedented.” Wolf said.
“And I really hope we wake up quickly because history also shows that [there is] a small window [of time] in which people can fight back before it’s too dangerous to fight back,” she concluded.