Coronavirus

Why Is the TSA Making Vaccinated Air Travelers Wear Masks?

The agency's rule, which it recently extended until mid-September, makes no sense as a safety measure.

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Yesterday I visited a movie theater for the first time in more than a year. Amid the endless ads and previews, the management repeatedly begged us to see upcoming releases in a theater rather than watching them at home, touting the advantages of a big screen and superior sound. Cinemark also emphasized its COVID-19 control measures, including elaborate yet generally pointless precautions such as seat wipes and frequent swabbing of surfaces. But the most appealing thing to me was a safeguard the chain has abandoned: Face masks are now "optional for fully vaccinated guests."

While masks are "strongly encouraged for all other guests," they "may be removed when eating and drinking inside the auditorium." In practice, since no one was checking vaccination cards (I brought mine just in case) and Cinemark customers commonly eat and drink while watching movies, this means face masks are optional for everyone. Now that vaccines are available to anyone 12 or older, that policy makes sense. People who are especially risk-averse might balk, but they probably are not going out to the movies anyway.

The situation for air travelers is quite different. Under a rule that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently extended through September 13, all passengers, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, must wear face masks "at all times" in airports and on airplanes. Violators are subject to a $250 fine the first time around and a $1,500 fine for repeat offenses. As you might expect from the agency that gave us "security theater," the face mask rule is a form of "hygiene theater," gratuitously incommoding passengers to create the illusion of added safety.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "recently announced that fully vaccinated travelers…can travel safely within the U.S.," the TSA says, "the CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer." The TSA's attempt to pass the buck is more than a little misleading.

The CDC's latest guidelines actually say that fully vaccinated people "can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance." So yes, as long as the TSA requires all airline passengers to wear masks, that edict qualifies as an exception to the general rule. But that hardly means the TSA's requirement is based on scientific guidance from the CDC, as the TSA implies.

"Right now," says Acting TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye, "about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the [CDC] to evaluate the need for these directives," which also apply to buses and trains.

LaJoye implicitly rules out the possibility of letting vaccinated passengers dispense with masks, even though verification is feasible and does not require a government-run system. American Airlines, for example, offers vaccine verification for international travelers through its VeriFLY smartphone app. Similar solutions could be used to qualify for an exemption from the face mask rule if the TSA allowed it.

The TSA also is hazy about exactly whom it is trying to protect by requiring all passengers to wear face masks. Little kids do not qualify for vaccines yet, but they are extremely unlikely to suffer life-endangering symptoms even if they are infected by the COVID-19 virus. They are also relatively unlikely to catch or transmit the coronavirus. Some adults have preexisting medical conditions that may impair the effectiveness of vaccines. But by and large, Americans who are unprotected from the virus are unprotected because of their own choices. That reality should figure in decisions about how everyone else is required to behave—especially decisions, such as mandatory masking of vaccinated travelers, that provide no real public health benefit.

"An airplane cabin is probably one of the most secure conditions you can be in," Sebastian Hoehl, a researcher at the Institute for Medical Virology at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, told Scientific American in November. An October article in The Journal of the American Medical Association likewise advised that "the risk of contracting COVID-19 during air travel is low." Here is why:

Air enters the cabin from overhead inlets and flows downwards toward floor-level outlets. Air enters and leaves the cabin at the same seat row or nearby rows. There is relatively little airflow forward and backward between rows, making it less likely to spread respiratory particles between rows.

The airflow in current jet airliners is much faster than normal indoor buildings. Half of it is fresh air from outside, the other half is recycled through HEPA filters of the same type used in operating rooms. Any remaining risk to be managed is from contact with other passengers who might be infectious. Seat backs provide a partial physical barrier, and most people remain relatively still, with little face-to-face contact.

Given these factors, it is not surprising that few COVID-19 cases have been linked to air travel. "Despite substantial numbers of travelers," the authors noted in October, "the number of suspected and confirmed cases of in-flight COVID-19 transmission between passengers around the world appears small (approximately 42 in total)." They added that "onboard risk can be further reduced with face coverings, as in other settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained."

That advice was offered before vaccines were available. Widespread vaccination, combined with immunity acquired from prior infection, makes a small risk even smaller. And given the remarkable effectiveness of vaccines in preventing both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection, forcing passengers to continue wearing masks even after they have been vaccinated cannot reasonably be expected to provide any significant additional safety. Yet that is what the TSA is doing.

The TSA's rule is based on a January 21 executive order aimed at "promoting COVID-19 safety in domestic and international travel." On January 29, the CDC itself issued a regulation requiring travelers to wear masks, although it said it was relying mainly on "voluntary compliance as well as support from [other] federal agencies." The CDC order and the TSA rule both took effect on February 1. But both agencies were relying on an executive order that cited "CDC guidelines," which now say vaccinated people need not wear masks even in indoor settings where the risk of virus transmission is much higher than it is on a commercial airplane.

The New York Times notes a surge in reports of "unruly behavior by passengers," most of them related to the mask mandate. As of late May, the Federal Aviation Administration had received 2,500 such reports since the beginning of the year, 1,900 of which involved passengers who refused to wear a mask. In one especially extreme incident, a woman was arrested and banned for life from Southwest Airlines after she punched a flight attendant in the face.

You can thank people like that passenger for the lack of booze on Southwest and American flights. The Times says both airlines "have postponed plans to resume serving alcohol on flights in an effort to stop a surge of unruly and sometimes violent behavior by passengers who have shoved, struck and yelled at flight attendants." American said "alcohol can contribute to atypical behavior from customers onboard, and we owe it to our crew not to potentially exacerbate what can already be a new and stressful situation for our customers."

Notably, American will continue serving alcohol in business and first classes.* Evidently it is only the plebes in coach who get unruly when they drink. Alcohol service in coach, which has been suspended since March 2020, now will not resume until September 13, when the TSA's mask rule, which originally was supposed to end on May 11, will expire unless it is extended again.

Unnecessary face masks surely contribute to the "stressful situation" that American says is exacerbated by alcohol (a judgment that coach passengers who drink to relax might question). For every obnoxious or violent resister, there are many quietly resentful passengers who do not understand why vaccination does not allow them to stop wearing face masks.

Maybe airlines would disregard those objections even if the TSA did not require them to do so. The Air Line Pilots Association welcomed the extension of the TSA's rule, counterintuitively claiming that it would "ensure the safety of passengers and crew from unruly passengers" upset about the TSA's rule. In an NBC News opinion piece last month, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, made it clear that her union views face masks as a nonoptional safeguard akin to seat belts and oxygen masks:

Flight attendants would never tell you that "whether you put on the oxygen mask is a matter of personal choice." We understand that clear air turbulence really can throw you against the ceiling without warning, so we don't say, "Some people believe seatbelts won't keep you safe, so it's up to you to decide whether to wear one."

We're also trained to help stop the spread of infectious disease. We're not just enforcing these long-overdue mask policies because we have to: We understand that masks are a way we keep ourselves and each other safe. And we're grateful policymakers are backing us up.

While Nelson may think that requiring vaccinated passengers to wear masks is "a way we keep ourselves and each other safe," neither the science nor the current advice from the notoriously hypervigilant CDC backs her up. It's not clear whether airlines would nevertheless placate irrationally fearful employees and passengers by imposing a gratuitous burden on vaccinated customers. But it is clear that the TSA is not giving them any choice in the matter.

[*CORRECTION: This post originally said Southwest also was serving alcohol to passengers in first and business classes, but Southwest does not divide airplane cabins by class, and it is not currently serving alcohol to any passengers. The post also has been updated with additional information about the legal basis for the TSA's rule.]

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  1. “Why Is the TSA Making Vaccinated Air Travelers Wear Masks?”

    Because chickens crossing roads confuses the TSA.

    1. because Bailey?

      1. All these articles are a year late.

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    2. TSA is following the science which is made up on the spot. It’s similar to the science of global warming. It’s the science of whatever you want it to be.

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    3. The distinction between vaccinated individuals and naturally immune individuals has no rational basis. Mask mandate for unvaccinated naturally immune would not survive 14th amendment scrutiny.

      1. until the supreme court is ‘unstacked’ by democrat fiat….
        then the constitutional scrutiny will reveal exactly what the ‘science’ tells it to…. and we know which party has its hand up that puppets A$$.

      2. well, since the joke of a poke is NOT said to prevent contraction nor transmission of the disease, the injection does not really prevent spread of this disease.

        Oh wait, though, because we just learned the thirty micron pores in the most popular masks cannot stop a .130 viral particle from passing right on through. So MASKS don’t really prevent the spread of this disease, either.

        So I guess we;re hosed, no matter what we do or don’t to, right? SO why bother with all the pain, fuss, expense, kabuki theatre? OH, right because SOMEBODY said we HAVE to. I say its long past bedtime for the ones hollering and whinging to keep us all in bondage to their diktats. HOW LONG will we continue to allow the control freaks rule?

    4. 1. The vaccines are ineffective.
      2. The TSA loves power and doesn’t want to give it up.
      3. The TSA wants you to know you have no power in this world.
      4. The TSA is a bunch of bureaucratic idiots.
      5. The TSA love the expression in designer masks.
      Take your pick!

      1. Boycott flying. Hit them in the wallet long and hard enough and the airlines will start to buck TSA.

    5. 1. The vaccines are ineffective.
      2. The TSA loves power and doesn’t want to give it up.
      3. The TSA wants you to know you have no power in this world.
      4. The TSA is a bunch of bureaucratic idiots.
      5. The TSA love the expression exhibited by designer masks.
      Take your pick!

  2. When are we going to be permitted to include talk of natural immunity into the mix?

    1. Never. It simply cannot get any traction.

      1. I give Sullum credit for touching on it with regard to herd immunity, but apparently there is no room in official edicts to include the idea that individual immunity can come without some verifiable government intervention.

        1. Nothing happens without the proper paperwork.

      2. And it lessens government power. The government doesn’t want you to know nature is more powerful than them.

    2. If natural immunity works there is no need to lockdown until a vaccine is made. People would once again be allowed to manage their own risks. The horror.

    3. “Natural immunity” is a conspiracy theory concocted by Alex Jones.

    4. right AFTER we have an in depth discussion of hydrochloroquiine, ivermectin, resveratrol, vitamins A B C D, zinc, and selenium……..

    5. There is NO WAY to prove natural immunity. And without proof of Vaccination there is no way to prove you have been vaccinated.

  3. Here in the People’s Republic of NJ, we finally relaxed mask requirements. For the first time in a year, I saw lots of human faces. It was the strangest feeling, I have to tell you. It should not be stranger at all, right? But it was.

    Did anyone else have that same kind of feeling when mask mandates were lifted?

    1. saw smiles today @whole foods. finally out of the pig-face Zone episode.

    2. No, some of us live in a free country and never had a mask mandate.

    3. Here in California we still have to wear them in indoor establishments until June 15. Be interesting see what happens then, because I seem to be seeing even more masks outdoors now (including joggers and bicyclists) than I did back when vaccinations hadn’t really taken hold outside of the 65+ set.

      1. Not sure about where you live, but my town is mostly maskless. Our numbers are super low, and have been relatively low the whole last year.

        Indoors at businesses people put them on, but are obviously annoyed at the stupidity. Most people don’t even bother to try to wear them right, and I think for some it’s rebellion by following only the letter of the law. Like an Italian suit with a crooked tie for spretzzatura. Some businesses don’t even bother to pretend, one i frequent they’re all vaccinated and nobody there has a mask.

        Small beach town, lots of us know each other by sight here. On a weekend night you can see the bars and wineries packed with only employees masked because CalOSHA, but that’s it.

        Some people are still nuts and wear masks when exercising even. But they are the minority. Whatever, that’s fine with the rest of us. Tthere have been outliers in both directions all year. Mostly nobody cares.

      2. Cal-OSHA is going to force workers to continue wearing masks past June 15. That is the first absurdity that truly surprised me in CA’s response.

        1. Interesting.

          Doesn’t surprise me, though I was born here and have seen the absurdity fester these last couple decades.

          They don’t make the ruling until Thursday, but the old proposal that got postponed also included employer provided n95 masks, employer provided weekly testing, testing of anyone with symptoms on company time, and an employer paid leave requirement.

          A bunch of that is still on the table. At the very least they’re going to try and force businesses to require masking in so many situations it will be effectively “always”. I’m guessing a massive lack of compliance, as well. At least here. They’ll bend over like good sheep in the Bay Area.

          I really miss the days when news was local and not 100% Democrat. The hand wringing in the newspapers is ridiculous. “What if people lie?” and “But minorities are vaccinated at a lower rate!” No reporter bothers asking actual, hard questions, they just publish the full panic or partial panic statements of the control freaks at OSHA straight. So you know what they end up with at the meeting will still be absurd, but it’ll start on June 15 instead of June 30.

          At the very least, you wonder why nobody ever asks why it is a business owner’s job to police any of this. I mean, vaccines are free. And spectacularly effective. Want one? Get it. Don’t want one? Fine. I don’t care. Leave me out of it, you’re not my responsibility anymore, and I’m not yours.

    4. Still saw lots of sheep with their masks on by me. I’d say it’s about 50/50 here.

      And fuck Phil Murphy.

      1. And fuck Phil Murphy….

        You can say that again, Unicorn.

    5. I am also stuck in NJ, and in the two times I was at the supermarket since the mandate was lifted, I was one of a small minority of shoppers who weren’t wearing a mask. I don’t know if a lot of people didn’t know the rules have changed or if they are actually that scared because of all of the fear-mongering from the past 15 months.

      1. Paul 3, I noticed that here too. In a local supermarket, I was one of the few maskless. I was struck by that. But in some other stores and areas, most people were unmasked. It is a strange dichotomy.

        1. There’s going to be an adjustment period. My wife still plans to mask for a while, and I have to humor her when we’re out shopping together, but I suspect it’ll be mostly phased out by the 4th.

          A lot of it is cultural. When I went to my local snobby coffee joint everyone was still masked up, but at the deli there wasn’t a mask in sight. No shock in either one of those.

          1. any coffee house that played that game would lose me in a nidget minute as a customer. There are a sozen OTHR places that know how to and serve excellent coffee. Life’s too short to sned it with folks who have their nappied noses up in the air, and an attitude that their “discernment’ is better than their own coffee. I make far better than nearly any shop so I don’t need their PRODUCT. There are plenty of alternate places to be able to sit and visit over a good cup if I have to brew the coffee out of the back of my van to have it.

        2. I think it’s just a confluence of free people or pants shitters at a particular time at a particular place. On Saturday at my local market, virtually nobody was masked. Same place yesterday had virtually all patrons masked. It’s mostly just timing and coincidence I think.

      2. Same here, and I shop at Shoprite (I swear I’m not a bot!! You gotta believe me!!)

        1. Funny, but you have to be careful with that. I saw “Shoprite” out of the corner of my eye and my cursor was headed toward the mute button. That would’ve sucked.

        2. The key would be if you WORKED at Shoprite but got a better gig “making many moneys” spamming us online.

          1. My gig is making better monkeys.

            Don’t judge me.

    6. Here in WA we can lie about getting the jab, and nearly everywhere I go there are smiling faces. The mom and pop stores have removed all signs and the mood has improved dramatically.

    7. I never wore them except in businesses that require it anyways. But first day local mandates lifted I was oy one of a handful in stores without a mask. People were still cowering.

    8. I’ve tried all along to spend as little time as possible in places that require masks. I will not socialize with a mask on, fortunately my closes friends were all of the same mind. So for me the masks never stopped being the strange thing. But it is nice to see more and more people dropping it. I find it really weird that some restaurants are still making customers go through the ritual of putting on a mask to walk through the door and to a table.

      1. Toll masks make sense because SCIENCE

    9. I spend a LOT of time with a LOT of folks who simply decided Phautchee was nuts, and ignored his emanations and prevarications. State and local law, or what was represented as being law, just did not trump comon sense.

      I have been seeing more and more very naked faces of late… which pleases me greatly. I just went everywhere brefaced, and only two ties did I get pitched out of soe control freak’s domain. Hopped in the car, drive a mile up the road to their competition, and got what I needed, alnog with a lecture from a “concerned citizen” who was full of dog doo about my putting so many others at risk… which diatribe I ignored Did not feel up to a word-wrassle wiht this clown, though there is no questiin I’d have trounced him badly. I shut up paid for my items and walked out, head high and chuckling at this dweeb. Not even a store employee, just a gasbag. A very MISTAKEN gasbag.

    10. Oh Yeah. Although only for Vaccinated. Unvaccinated will have to wear masks until June 30, 2021

  4. “Cinemark also emphasized its COVID-19 control measures, including elaborate yet generally pointless precautions such as seat wipes and frequent swabbing of surfaces.”

    That’s not pointless. Obsessively disinfecting everything in sight has the effect of weakening people’s immune systems. Got to keep those case numbers up to maintain the hysteria somehow…

    1. Creating opportunities for future vaccines.

  5. Well, Southwest isn’t going to continue serving alcohol in first class because they don’t have first class or business sections.

    I flew over the weekend for the first time since January of ‘20. I’ve generally been fine with wearing a mask when asked to do so. But I’ll tell you, wearing a mask from the time you get on the parking shuttle through the airport and the flight, through the 2nd airport and at baggage claim, and on the rental car shuttle was too damn long. And my flight was only 2 hours with no connections.

    Either we think the vaccines work or we don’t think they work. (They do). Fucking government can’t say no to any idiocy from the people that support the current regime.

    1. It’s so true. I could still “feel” the mask on my face long after my flight had landed and I could take the blasted thing off.

    2. Yeah, I won’t do that. I can’t stand wearing a mask for 15 minutes. Hours would be unbearable.

      1. Agreed. I’ll not be flying until all of the restrictions are lifted. I have a good car for long-distance driving if need be.

  6. Because anti-vax assholes ruin everything for everyone because they can’t be adults.

    Would we really expect anyone who hasn’t gotten a vaccine yet to wear a mask like they should while vaccinated people don’t? C’mon.

    But hey, look who I’m talking to- the freedumb crowd.

    1. Because people who aren’t vaccinated pose such a high risk to people who are.

      Speaking of dumb.

      1. Yes but Fully Vaccinated people are no threat nor are unvaccinated people a threat to vaccinated people. So why should fully vaccinated be forced to wear masks.

    2. dude bring something new tomorrow. zzzzzzz

    3. shitlunches wants mandatory flu shots.

    4. Nobody should think for themselves.

    5. Why is it okay for people to question the efficacy of the vaccines but not the safety of the vaccines?

      We should all wear a mask, right, even though the states that eliminated their mask mandate have done better since then. And there is no evidence that they are effective in stopping the spread of any viruses. Keep on believing everything the politicians say. We can trust them completely.

    6. I’m vaccinated. Why do I give a shit whether anyone else is or isn’t? I’d like it if everyone who isn’t vaccinated got it, but ultimately no sweat off my ass either way.

    7. I’m sorry your inner fascist has had to deal with people who are not sheep and don’t follow orders just because. Then again, you don’t understand that “adults” are people who can weigh their individual risks and make decisions accordingly.

    8. Hey look, it’s Sleepy Joe the Bully (the “C’mon” gave it away). Maybe you should just punch out the anti-vaxxers, seems like physical threats work for the New Totalitarians.

      Follow the science, zealot, and the evidence from states that dropped the mask mandate.

    9. Hey, look who’s posting: Fucking lefty ignoramus

    10. It’s your public schools and universities that have created generations of children.

    11. anti vas whAT YOU CALL NE? You can go get poked with whateveryou want to. I’ve studied it out, and have the medical biology background to understand what’s going on, and I refuse to take that injection, and if you;d shut up sit down and LISTEN I can explain WHY. But you have what passws for a mind already determined. Fine, YOO go get the poke in yer arm. Come back and let’s have a chat when you are dying of one of the prion diseases, or your liver has packed it in, or maybe your CNS is misfiring so badly you can no logner walk. I’ll still be healthy and strong,knocking off fifty miles in an afternoon on my ancient road bike, well into my eighties, certain I made the roght choice. YOU do what you want.
      By the bye when an individual has enough viral load to be contagions, he ALSO will certainly be demonstrating symtpoms consistent with the disease he alledgedy has contracted. If he does NOT have symptoms sufficient to atrract attention and require medical help, he does not have enogh viral load to be contagious.
      I’d like to have a good ol sit down with the TSA knuckleheads inveinting this insanity. I refust to fly under their conditions. I’d rather drive… or not go.

  7. Because Theater is their specialty.

    1. Yeah. That’s what I came here to say. The TSA is all about pointless security theater. So this is right in their wheelhouse.

  8. Are you fucking kidding me? This is the agency that won’t let you board a plane with a bottle of water or without removing your belt and shoes. You think they give a single shit about whether masks protect anyone? If anything, they welcome the extra authority to be petty enforcers of pointless rules.

    1. Sadly, exactly this. Every word. Truth.

    2. Remember the HS hall monitors? What do you think they’re doing now?

  9. Wearing masks and gloves is not an unreasonable safety strategy on airliners, all the time…

    But why are the uneducated mouth-breathers at TSA allowed to make such medical and health decisions? Their remit is supposed to prevent terrorist attacks on airliners. How about they do that in the least intrusive possible manner?

    1. Wearing masks and gloves is not an unreasonable safety strategy on airliners, all the time…

      And then you go on to call other people uneducated mouth breathers.

    2. what makes that strategy reasonable? We’ve managed to fly for decades without masks or gloves.

      1. Yeah, but everyone died. Don’t you remember?

        1. Flying was classier with gloves and Maybelline.

      2. Yeah, I think it’s funny that people are thinking this way now. Seems like the complete wrong takeaway to me. We should be celebrating how awesome it is that we have immune systems that allow us to get strangers’ spittle all over us all day in confined spaces and pretty much not have to worry about it. That’s fucking great. Why is everyone becoming germophobes now?

        1. Being a germaphobe used to be something you were socially humiliated for. Sigh. Society is moving on without me. I feel old.

        2. There is now no greater evil than the idea of independence

    3. “Wearing masks and gloves is not an unreasonable safety strategy on airliners, all the time…”

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Hate to see what he wears in a public restroom.

  10. The airflow in current jet airliners is much faster than normal indoor buildings. Half of it is fresh air from outside, the other half is recycled through HEPA filters of the same type used in operating rooms.

    Then why can’t we smoke on airplanes?

    1. I was wondering that myself….

    2. Good question given what’s presented in this article. But in practice, let me assure you that when we did have smoking on planes, the pollution was NOT confined to the rear four rows even if the smokers were. Planes stank. And that was back in the days when planes were constantly feeding fresh air in from outside through the bleed from the jet engines rather than recycling what’s already there as they do now. With today’s recycling approach it would likely be even worse.

      1. Today’s recycling approach is A) worse for the health of the passengers and B) only possible because of the no smoking rule. In other words, a government ruling ostensibly to protect the public health has made it worse, and incidentally saves the affected industry money.

        Fairly typical.

    3. Smoke anywhere on the plane would be super-annoying to some of us. Having said that, the decision should be left to the airlines and the free market not the government.

    4. At least allow the vape.

  11. Until vaccines are available to all people this makes perfect sense. The vaccine is still unavailable for children.

    1. lol stick those kids!

    2. I see you really thought this through.

    3. Yes, because children are such vectors of COVID. So says your ass…because it sure the fuck wasn’t the Science.

    4. Kids aren’t at any signs risk from it.

    5. and it should stay unavailable to children. They don’t need it. You’d think people would have learned that much after 18 months of data and almost no impact on kiddies.

      1. Today’s CDC data, “All Deaths involving COVID-19” for ages 0-17 is a total of 300, across a year and a quarter now. And “involving” doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what they died from.

        In contrast, 480 children died from influenza in 2018-2019.

        “the risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19.”

        But hey, progressives know what’s best, right?

        Follow the science.

      2. It SHOULD be available to children and parents should be allowed to decide what they want for their children.

        1. Same for tobacco and alcohol.

          1. And driving and voting.

    6. It is totally unethical to try to force an experimental drug on people who have nothing to gain from it.

    7. “Until vaccines are available to all people this makes perfect sense. The vaccine is still unavailable for children.”

      Fuck off, slaver.

    8. READ the CDC’s dope on the injection. THey plainluy tate this injection will NOT prevent spread, nor will it prevemt contracting the disease in question. At best, it might provide some lessening of syptoms should the disease be contracted by the injectee.

      In other words, ‘neener neeener we gotchya. d VAcks ain’t worth a thing to prevent the spread of the disease.

      I’ll leave the known and common aftereffects for another day.

  12. Either we have everyone prove vaccination status and those who aren’t vaxxed are forced to put on face masks before boarding, which will of course create huge scenes at checkins and gates with anti-vaxxers having tantrums and probably lead to all the gate agents going on strike or quitting, or we simply take the safe conformist approach for the time being while there are still many who won’t get vaccinated.

    1. Safe for who exactly? ’cause the vaccinated be vaccinated.

    2. Where did we get the idea masks make anyone “safe”?

      1. Does not mater. As Shoreview explained, the mask mandate is for expediency

        1. Either we have everyone prove vaccination status

          WHY? That initial premise, which is apparently an article of faith among the scared, has NO SCIENCE behind it. The level of substantive risk to a vaccinated person should be considered inconsequential. Who is being protected by segregating the vaccinated from the unvaccinated?

      2. When the data was showing masks don’t protect the wearer, the powers that be pivoted to telling everyone that masks protect others from the elusive asymptomatic covid-sick wearer. That whole idiotic “your mask protects me, my mask protects you…”

      3. same place we got the idea that the injections actually WORK.

        Phautcheeeeeeee
        ya know da guy what is making millions off a his power position and the shots themsevels, and from the labs he has vested ineerest in… like the one where this virus was developed then leaked. Or delibberatelly released.

    3. Fuck off. You people and your willingness to force everyone else into adopting your pants-wetting level of fear.

      Do you recommend yellow stars or tattoos for those without the shot?

      1. “Fuck off. You people and your willingness….”
        No one is forcing you to fly.

        1. Said the guy who was promoting “ expediency” earlier.

        2. Damn right. I haven’t been in an airport since they suspended the Constitution there after 9/11. You know, when some people did something.

        3. “No one is forcing you to fly.”

          Fuck off, slaver.

    4. fuck conformity. the vaccinated are free and the not vaccinated are free.

    5. Why should we do anything to protect the non-vaccinated at this point? Being un-vaccinated is their choice.

      1. yes that IS my choice, and that wil not change. I know why and you don’t, Fine. I have assessed the risks and rewards and decided. So what? I have far less fear or concern that I will contract this stupid disease and die from it, then the alternative, wiht is to go bout subject to an ungrounded fear of the monsters under the bed, out in the shed, and following me down the street, and riding on the airplane in the seat next to me. I’ve been stuck in cattle class next to a family all hacking and coughing and wretching the whole four hour flight, sneexing all over, and did not even worry I’d get it WHY? I have studied how to strengehtn my own God’given excellent and amazing immune system to minimise my risk of getting sick.. from anything. For forty years now I’ve had no medical expenses, just some cheap supplements, the decision to buy and prepare healthy well balanced meal,s and to exercise vigourously on a regular basis. I have wpent far less on madical care in the passt four decades than the OhBummerTax premium would be for one stinking year, with huge deductibles (ten times what I ever spend in fiveye and a heavy coi-pay. I simply clsed the browser and dsaid to myself “let them catch me and torment me’ It will still be cheaper thata-n paying their stupid mordita. They never bothered me, and I still never pay for their insurance/bribe nor do I get sick.
        so WHY should this WuFlu be any different?

    6. “Either we have everyone prove vaccination status and…”

      Fuck off, slaver

  13. I read a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, about physicians and masks. A lot of doctors think vaccinated people should wear masks in all situations, indoor and out, until sufficient numbers of people are vaccinated. One doctor has told her relatives that she won’t dine with them, until they are vaccinated, even though she is,, because there are break-through cases, and she is not convinced that vaccinated people can’t transmit Covid.

    Another doctor thinks that allowing vaccinated people to go maskless is simply rubbing it in the nose of people who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated, or choose not to for religious reasons.

    As I’ve said for years, doctors think all medical issues should be treated immediately, or the absolute worst will happen. It’s not like auto mechanics who ask about your driving habits before deciding if you need an expensive repair immediately.

    1. Another doctor thinks that allowing vaccinated people to go maskless is simply rubbing it in the nose of people who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated, or choose not to for religious reasons.

      Tough crap for them. I am taller than most people. Should I make my legs shorter to make it “fair”?

      1. Or closer to the topic….(and I write this as a fellow talkie)….should airlines have to provide “fair” leg room so tall people can be as comfy as shorter people in business class?

        1. Don’t hold your breath for that

        2. Time to stop asking for “fair” legroom and start asking for “equitable” legroom.

          Long legs matter

    2. So because that doctor sees that the vaccine is not really a vaccine in terms of preventing contraction of the virus, we should all hide under our beds for how much longer?

      1. “he vaccine is not really a vaccine in terms of preventing contraction of the virus”
        Virtually no vaccine is for any disease

        1. From the CDC:
          A vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.

          Idiot.

          1. I swear, it’s like I’m the only person that remembers the mumps outbreaks the NHL periodically experiences.

            Vaccines aren’t and have never been foolproof.

    3. This is the “if we can just save one life” fallacy. Doctors are very smart at memorization but their not all good at math or putting things in perspective.

    4. “I read a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, about physicians and masks…”

      Fuck off, slaver.
      Lots of slavers here…

  14. Why? FYTW. Any other questions?

  15. Why?
    Because it can. Full stop.

    1. And you accept it.

  16. This could easily become a monkey paw situation. I think they’re requiring masking because it allows them to circumvent asking for proof of vaccination.

    At least that’s how I ‘unpack it’ as the Marxists like to say.

    Leftist ideology is fundamentally built on lack of trust and fear. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a value system that does not protect nor promote the individual also fears them. These people want peace of mind, but that peace of mind is collectivist and Marxist. Keep that in mind the next time you try to argue with them by saying “you’re vaccinated, so why are you afraid?” They’ll go on a tirade about those who can’t get vaccinated, those who aren’t, failure rates, etc.

    Until you comply on a utopian, global level, Marxists will not be happy. That means one way or another, you will make them feel safe so long as they grace you with their presence. That means you have to follow their science via masking or by promoting universal vaccination checks.

    Masks and vaccine proofs are the American niqab.

    Instead of cucking to the Marxists, question them on their lack of trust. Why should proof be required? What business of theirs is it to demand proof of others? What are they so afraid of?

    When you really push them hard, most Marxists turn out to be champagne socialists. They’re merely academic elitists who think most people are uneducated rubes.

    Ironically, if we ever do have a Marxist revolution, they will be the first people sent to the firing lines.

    1. Or in Tony’s case someone who’s ascended from middle america through the divine light of his west coast urban education

    2. Calling a hygiene measure a niqab while you sacrifice your entire life’s dignity on a mission to force government into women’s crotches, checking for babies.

      We just don’t want you getting your disease on other people. This isn’t fucking rocket science.

      1. “ to force government into women’s crotches, checking for babies”

        That has to be the most disingenuous description of the Anti-Abortion cause that I’ve heard in a long while. The issue isn’t finding out who’s pregnant. The issue is, do we permit, or even aid, pregnant women in killing the fetus.

        Now, I happen to think that as fetus isn’t a human being, yet. But let’s not grossly misrepresent the opposition and then strut around as if we’d proved something, OK?

        And while we’re at it, does anyone see any evidence that Kermit Gosnell’s House of Horrors has inspired the Pro-Choice side to do any housecleaning ? Given the circle-the-wagons and ‘How DARE you imply that abortion providers need to be regulated” attitude that Pro-C notice groups have been displaying, I wouldn’t care to be that Gosnell’s charnel house is the only one out there. And as damaging as exposing more would be, the damage pales in comparison to the fallout if they are covered up until some Anti-Abortion group or Law Enforcement group exposes them

      2. Aside from the completely unfounded and unrelated strawman…actually there isn’t anything else to reply to. Your post was complete conjecture and entirely false.

        I would prefer that government not legislate abortion. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t get one myself, but I’m never going to support making that choice for someone else. In that sense, I do say its their body and their choice. It’s a very difficult choice and thank goodness I’ll never have to make it. I understand the debate from both perspectives.

        There is a societal interest in protecting the rights of the unborn, but for now, that’s a discussion to be had in private and not one that is legislated.

        What you’re struggling to cope with is the underlying reality of the abortion debate. It’s the 21st century equivalent of slavery. Why couldn’t the founders end slavery or promote civil rights for non-white men? Because their morality aligned with the status quo. Pro-slavery factions kept losing the moral argument and change came. You can’t use government to force it on people while there’s entrenched opposition, but the reality that you cannot ignore is that morality always has and always will be legislated.

        Another similar debate is the treatment of animals and eating meat. 100 years from now, people might consider us savages for eating meat and ban the practice at a federal level. Just like nobody has the right to enslave someone and turn their life into property, perhaps we don’t have the right to kill other living things for consumption or to kill unborn children for inconveniencing us.

        As artificial wombs and other technologies become available, the case for abortion will eventually disappear just like slavery did. At that point, you’ll be able to protect the life of the unborn without forcing a mother to carry or be responsible for a child she doesn’t want. Until then, it will remain a contentious subject.

        I do not want laws telling women how they must deal with their pregnancies, but I also do not want women to wantonly kill unborn children. I empathize with them reaching what I consider to be the wrong conclusion because the underlying issues are extremely difficult to address and about as intimate and personal as you can possibly get, but I think they’re weak for aborting. People should respect life enough to really know for certain they want children before trying to become pregnant. People who take risks for personal pleasure or convenience are committing a grave sin by putting their convenience ahead of the life of an unborn child. The fetus did nothing wrong and did not ask to be conceived, yet we kill it and deny it any chance to live.

        On what basis does it not have a right to life? Does life begin when you’re self sufficient? We’re just a clump of cells too. Most newborns, infants, and young children would die if left to their own devices and expected to provide for themselves.

        Do we abort when having the child is too costly to the woman or society? Does that mean we can abort all blacks or hispanics because they commit crimes at higher rates? Or how about all whites because their IQs are, on average, lower than asians? What about kids with disabilities? Are we going to become literal Nazis and revive eugenics?

        Where is personal responsibility in this debate? Everyone seems intent on kicking the can instead of owning up to the fact it’s their own damn fault for getting knocked up in the first place.

  17. Why did Old White Joe proclaim that “Democracy itself is in peril?”
    Because of his $6T budget that will drive the national dept to 200% of GDP by 2024.

  18. Then there are those of us who spent far too many painful hours in airplanes and airports in past years, and are delighted by the thought that — maybe — never again will it be necessary to put up with this crap. Any of it.

  19. As an airline worker that has had to wear a mask for 12 -14 hours a day at work and will not be getting the vaccine, I couldn’t read past the fact that you brought your vaccine card to the movie theater ‘just in case’

    1. If you get the vaccine, might as well make sure you get the perks.

  20. The TSA is a typical Government Bureaucracy allowed to be ARROGANT, DOGMATIC and BLOATED! Science? What science. They don’t need no stinkin’ science. They know, along with the entire DEMENTED BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, what is best! Do what they say or don’t fly!

  21. “We’re not just enforcing these long-overdue mask policies because we have to: We understand that masks are a way we keep ourselves and each other safe.”

    Perhaps unemployed too.

  22. In related news: Cal-OSHA just announced they are going to vote to mandate masks for workers through the rest of the year, unless employers can prove that every person they might get into contact with is vaccinated.

    My evaluation for the chances that Newsom gets recalled just went from ‘not a chance’ to ‘hmm…’ It is already somewhat intolerable that we were one of the few states with restrictions over Memorial Day, but I figured that voters would forget once we normalized on June 15th. Now that vaccinated people are going to still be forced to wear masks through recall election day…and we will almost certainly be one of the only states with such a restriction, I am starting to wonder whether there is a chance that voters will tell Newsom to “follow the science”.

  23. Because flight crews have better and more important things to do than trying to determine who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t, and enforce the mask rule on un-vaccinated people who don’t believe there’s a pandemic in the first place. If you think people are getting cranky with flight crews over masks now, imagine sorting out the disagreements over why Bob gets to take his mask off, and Bill doesn’t, particularly if Bill is a hard-core anti-vaxer or is overly concerned about his rights to put everyone at risk and Bob just lost his grandma to Covid-19 and is both angry and scared by people who don’t take precautions.

    1. “Because flight crews have better and more important things to do than trying to determine who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t, and enforce the mask rule on un-vaccinated people who don’t believe there’s a pandemic in the first place…”

      Fuck off, slaver.

    2. I would argue that fight crews also have better things to do than to try to prevent unvaccinated folks from giving each other COVID in a low risk environment. Particularly given that everyone is allowed to take off their mask while drinking anyway. Last I checked, COVID didn’t care whether you were nursing a Coke while deciding whether to infect you.

  24. Because we can’t take people at their word, we need a vaccination passport. And we can’t have a vaccination passport because histrionic libertarians swear it’s a prelude to another Holocaust.

    Basically, it’s your own fault for being assholes.

    1. ^Has to be a parody account.

      1. Idk anymore. Lady at the grocery store asked my coworker today why he wasn’t wearing a mask. He said because im vaccinated. The said you don’t look like the vaccinated type. Lol. Karens

    2. Why do you need a vaccine passport? Why did this change your risk aversion more than previous things like flying itself?

      1. Do you people seriously not understand that the nature of a communicable disease is that it can be transmitted to other people?

        1. It’s not a new thing.

    3. Nailed it. Though most reason readers aren’t even libertarians. They are just contrarians who want to sound smart.

  25. We’re also trained to help stop the spread of infectious disease.

    I guess they failed to stop the spread on the flights from Wuhan to SEA,SFO, LAX. How pompous.

  26. A key paragraph:

    “Air enters the cabin from overhead inlets and flows downwards toward floor-level outlets. Air enters and leaves the cabin at the same seat row or nearby rows. There is relatively little airflow forward and backward between rows, making it less likely to spread respiratory particles between rows.”

    If cloth masks have any appreciable efficacy at all it is to reduce frontal airflow. That is, cloth masks help direct expelled breath sideways through the mask.

    In other words, to the person sitting directly next to you on a flight. Arguably, masks worsen COVID-19 transmission on airplane.

  27. How about the fact that people have to be masked and 6 ft apart while waiting in a baggage/ticket line, and then are crammed like sardines in an airplane?

    Trust the “science”.

    1. Due to the vastly better ventilation on a plane vs an airport, that isn’t necessarily a horrible contradiction.

      On the other hand, making you stay 6ft apart at the outside skycap, is stupid. And the fact that vaccinated folks don’t need to wear masks to order at a McDonald’s in 48 out of 50 states, but do need to wear a mask to order at an airport McDonald’s is also dumb.

  28. Can anyone explain why unions seem to be in hysterics with regard to COVID? At first, I thought it was because they wanted some side benefit, like being able to work from home (eg. teacher’s union). But a mask mandate just makes a flight attendant’s job harder. So, it is weird to me that they seem so hung ho about a mandate, rather than actually a prohibition on requiring FAs to enforce mask mandates.

  29. It’s either this or vaccination papers.

    I’m sorry that global pandemics are a bit of a square peg in the round hole of libertarian ethics, but I’ve been trying to explain to you that your worldview is infantile and stupid.

    1. Exactly. Childish and puerile.

      1. Really? See your and tonys above. Also your double descriptive of the same thing is lame and lamer

    2. Gold stars and arm tattoos for the win!

  30. all passengers, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, must wear face masks “at all times” in airports and on airplanes.

    Let me get this stright now…

    if the shot were effecive, then those who got it would have no need of the mug nappie If the nappie were effective there would be no need for the VERY suspect and risky injection. SO either the shot, or the mask, is NOT effective….. or both are not effective is a third optio.

    If A, or B, or C is true, they what are we doing continuing iwth the kabuki theatre, criminal threats, and the control charade?

    If one were effective the other would be moot. If the other were effective the one would be moot. Neither are, only means of controlling and maniuplating.

    WHy don’t we all kust put on our Big Kid Pants and say NO?

    1. Because the mature thing for a paranoid, hysterical person to do is to stay indoors where it’s safe rather than harass normal people in public.

      1. Most people contract contagious diseases indoors.

  31. Oh wait, though, because we just learned the thirty micron pores in the most popular masks cannot stop a .130 viral particle from passing right on through. So MASKS don’t really prevent the spread of this disease, either.

    So I guess we;re hosed, no matter what we do or don’t to, right? SO why bother with all the pain, fuss, expense, kabuki theatre? OH, right because SOMEBODY said we HAVE to. I say its long past bedtime for the ones hollering and whinging to keep us all in bondage to
    ( https://wapexclusive.com )their diktats. HOW LONG will we continue to allow the control freaks rule?

  32. Basically, TSA is following the science which is made up on the spot. It’s similar to the science of global warming. It’s the science of whatever you want it to be.

    —————————————————————-
    Edit: https://callgirlssharjah.com/

  33. Simply because it gives the TSA more power to enforce regulations.

    The TSA should be eliminated because it is virtue signaling rather than actual security. The TSA subjects passengers to a never ending list of nonsensical regulations but regularly fail spot inspections.

    It’s time to begin dismantling the National Security machine and start restoring individual freedoms. Although with Biden/Harris in power and reflecting on their historical actions, I fear that the opposite will occur.

  34. I shared the article with a friend who works at TSA and here’s his response:

    ” Fake news — TSA has zero jurisdiction on flights. TSA only owsn our little chunk of the airport… checkpoint and small area in baggage handling system….other than that it’s the airport/town-county etc or airline.
    LaJoye is being quoted from old news. Now he can still mandate that his people wear masks at a checkpoint but that’s about it

    It like at the beginning of all this they want TSA to be doing temperature checks at the checkpoint. They wanted TSA to be the bad guy and have the $15 employee making medical decisions. Obviously that didn’t get any traction thank God. “

  35. because tyrants don’t willingly give up power. The “follow the SCIENCE (TM)” crowd has decided to become anti-vax so it won’t have to give up its “emergency” powers.

  36. If my work didn’t require air travel then I would not set foot in an airport. If the communists running the government can force you to wear a useless face diaper to travel is there any limit to their tyranny?

  37. I don’t wear a mask in the terminal unless a TSA tyrant demands it, then I dutifully put on my Trump 2020 mask to make them feel better.

  38. What about our immunities and privileges as citizens of this former republic? If one is immune to the China Virus then he ought to regain the liberty to travel without the chin diaper. In truth, he should never have been denied his privilege.

  39. It like at the beginning of all this they want TSA to be doing temperature checks at the checkpoint. They wanted TSA to be the bad
    ( https://wapexclusive.com/ ) guy and have the $15 employee making medical decisions. Obviously that didn’t get any traction thank God. “

  40. 99% of all TSA actions are pure theater, so why expect this to be any different?

  41. The TSA still requires masks because half the US adult population is still not fully vaccinated, there is still a deadly disease going around (though declining), the TSA and airlines have no way of easily verifying who is vaccinated, and airplanes are hyper dense spaces with people less than a foot apart with recycled air.

    Don’t know how this long article wasted so many paragraphs on faux-outrage while missing the obvious easy answers.

    1. “The TSA still requires masks because half the US adult population is still not fully vaccinated, there is still a deadly disease going around (though declining), the TSA and airlines have no way of easily verifying who is vaccinated, and airplanes are hyper dense spaces with people less than a foot apart with recycled air….”

      Pile of left shit tries to justify bullshit; no surprise.
      Fuck off and die.

  42. The essence of government bureaucracy is to treat all people as the lowest common denominator. All travelers are assumed to be potential terrorists, even grandmothers in wheelchairs. All travelers are assumed to be non-vaccinated old people, even if they are young and vaccinated. It’s easier to make rules that way (i.e. you don’t have to think, just react.)

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  44. How is the Fauci email scandal not THEE number 1 headline on Reason since what, yesterday?!

  45. It might just be as follows. Powers given will be used. Questions as to the sense or nonsense of this use are of no consequence.

  46. As much as I hate to say this, stop blaming the TSA. Biden issued an Executive Order mandating masks on all Public Transportation. He’s also looking at having OSHA enforce masks in all workplaces by calling them Personal Protective Equipment. This would put masks right up there with safety glasses, respirators and other mandated protective equipment.

    As much as I despise the TSA, Sullum is doing a disservice to them by not giving credit where credit is due. There’s enough things to blame the TSA for, but, this is not one of them.

  47. My question about theatres and everything else indoors is not about cleanliness, it’s about ventilation. Every ticket taker should be able to respond to the questions: “What are your CO2 levels” and “how many times/hour do your refresh your air?” and “What filtration system do you use?” It’s not just for covid. It’s likely to be a good prevention technique for other infectious diseases.

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