The country may soon see a rise in COVID-19 infections now that airlines have made masks optional. That’s according to infectious disease expert and Emory University Professor of Medicine Dr. Carlos Del Rio. He spoke with WABE’s Jess Mador just after a federal judge put on hold the nation’s transportation mask requirement on domestic flights.
On April 18th, a Federal Judge ruled the CDC had never had legal authority from Congress to mandate masks on transportation, and if they did, the CDC should have gone through an Administrative Act requirement to solicit public comment. The CDC never took any input from the public.
The rulings effect was immediate.
Several public health “experts” predicted a significant rise in “cases” due to elimination of the mask mandate.
What Actually Happened
“Cases” were already rising from the end of March onwards; the red vertical line is approximately April 18th. The curve made no significant change in acceleration (rate of change) after the mask mandate was dropped. Instead, the growth rate stayed almost the same and appears to have peaked about 4 weeks later. Stated another way, it began a slow rise about 3-4 weeks before April 18th, and continued a slow, steady rise until about 4 weeks later.
Let’s see the curve in context of past case increases – here we see the previous wave, when mask mandates were in effect, was vastly steeper and accelerated far faster than the current increase. (Of course, there are other variables in play too).
From the available data, there does not seem to have been a noticeable increase in cases due to elimination of the transportation mask mandate.
The expert predictions that dropping the transportation mask mandate would lead to a surge in cases, was wrong. Experts are never held accountable for their scary, failed predictions.
The CDC, via the DoJ, has filed an appeal of the Court Ruling as the CDC would like us to wear cloth facial coverings for the remainder of our lives. There is no exit ramp.