Statement Re: Public Transit Mask Mandate

From our colleagues at AAPD, ASAN, Be A Hero, Justice in Aging, and The Arc:

The recent ruling to end mask mandates on public transit has put the lives of disabled and older adults at risk. As the pandemic continues, there is an urgent need to maintain mask mandates and protect public health. While the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Justice pursue an appeal, disability and aging advocates have prepared a statement for sign ons encouraging transit providers of all types to continue to require masks.

Please share within your networks and sign on your support by Monday, April 25th at 1:00pm ET. Read the statement and see sign on link below. 

The statement is open for sign on by national organizations, state and local organizations, and individual advocates.

Statement here: 

Washington, D.C. - Following the recent court decision striking down the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s mask mandate for public transportation, disability and aging advocates released the following statement:

People with disabilities fought for decades for the right to safe, accessible transit. Those rights and our ability to participate in our communities, connect with our families, get to work, and access healthcare have all been put at risk by this decision. We are relieved that the Biden Administration will seek to appeal the decision 

Let us be clear: we are still in a pandemic, and COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of people across the United States every day. Although we all wish the pandemic were over, cases are rising yet again, Congressional inaction has left treatments and information about treatments scarce, and the vaccine has yet to be approved for young children. High risk and immunocompromised people are in danger.

Eliminating masking requirements on transit increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 faced by those who rely on transit to engage in community life. Disabled people of color are among the most frequent public transit users, and for many use of a personal vehicle is not an option. Until this latest wave has subsided, community transmission rates have dropped, vaccinations are accessible to all ages, and treatments are readily available, we urge all transportation providers including transit agencies, bus companies, airlines, railway systems  and ride-sharing businesses to protect everyone, especially young children, people with disabilities, immunocompromised individuals, and older adults most at risk, by continuing to require masks. 

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