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Ten Pilots From Major Airlines are Suing the CDC and DHHS Over Mask Mandates


Fed up with the ridiculous mask mandates for passengers and crews of flights, a group of pilots have filed a lawsuit against the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services for their illegal implementation of the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate. For those without the time to dig deeper into the news, here is what you need to know.

  • Ten Pilots have sued the CDC and the DHHS trying to get rid of federal mask mandates on flights. Seven of the pilots work for JetBlue while Southwest, American, and PSA airlines all have one each.

  • The lawsuit is being brought by the pilots for the purpose of vacating and permanently prohibiting enforcement of the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate. Biden's EO resulted in the CDC pushing the “Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances & at Transportation Hubs” on Feb. 1, 2020, effective immediately. This is the mask mandate being challenged in the suit.

  • On Biden's second day in office he signed an “Executive Order Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic & International Travel.” This is what set in motion the FTMM. This was a major change from what the Trump Administration did.

  • Mask Mandates on planes are currently in effect until at least April 18 after the order was extended. The Emergency Powers Executive Order calls for 90 days and has been extended 8 times already.

  • The Pilots claim the mandate contrary to statute and in violation of the Constitution as well in direct conflict with local and State laws and policies in all 50 States that prohibit mask mandates or do not require face coverings. The CDC has yet to respond to the lawsuit.


  • The Pilots argue that airlines are being held to an unfair standard compared to other businesses, saying, “It makes no sense to continue to require masks on airplanes when they are no longer being required in shopping malls, theaters and offices.”

  • On March 15, the Senate voted 57-40 to pass Senate Joint Resolution 37 disapproving of CDC’s FTMM order. The House has not taken up the vote and President Biden said he would veto any bill that made it to his desk in what is no doubt about keeping the power it affords him.

  • The suit claims that the FTMM order makes numerous false claims about the effectiveness of face coverings....The order fails to note that the scientific consensus for decades has been that face masks do not reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses and that covering one’s face causes at least 68 harms to human health. There are 228 scientific studies and medical articles that show this to be true.

  • The lawsuit claims that the mask mandates “have created chaos in the sky, recklessly endangering aviation safety and security.” They say tens of millions of Americans vehemently object to anyone ordering them to wear face masks. This is evidenced by some 5,981 incidents of “unruly” behavior aboard airplanes in 202, which was the highest year on record.

  • The suit mentions that ten states never adopted a statewide mask mandate. The 40 states – seeing that mandatory masking had no effect on their COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities – have repealed their face-covering dictates. There are at least 14 states that prohibit mask mandates.

  • The suit accuses the CDC and HHS of violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Congressional Review Act, the separation of powers, and the 10th Amendment. It is seeking the mask mandate be declared unconstitutional, have all mask mandate orders immediately vacated and a permanent injunction on its enforcement, request, references, and requirements in all locations worldwide. They also want a permanent injunction stating that the defendants shall not issue any other order or regulation requiring any person to wear a face mask unless such specific authority is enacted into law by Congress.


Now that you know what it is about, the rest of this will be a deeper look into what the suit is about, who they are, what they want, the reasons they claim it is illegal, and some of the most important sections of the lawsuit. Janviere Carlin, Jeffery Chandler, Beth Ellis, Christina Field, Gregory Ramola, Kurt Schuster, Hal Christopher Sims, Nathan Alexander Town, Jean-Michel Trousse, and Collier Yarish are ten pilots which work for JetBlue, Southwest, American, and PSA airlines and have filed a lawsuit against the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The suit is being brought by the pilots for the purpose of vacating and permanently prohibiting enforcement of the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate (“FTMM”) “This mandate also raises serious constitutional concerns. Because of the FTMM, numerous state, local, and regional transportation and airport authorities are told to enforce a federal mandate that is in direct conflict with the laws and policies of all 50 states that prohibit mask mandates or do not require face coverings.” “The Court should vacate worldwide the FTMM because it is an illegal and unconstitutional exercise of executive authority. The mask mandate is procedurally defective because the defendants adopted it without following the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements or considering the impact on tens of millions of travelers and transportation workers every single day. They also ignored countless scientific and medical studies and articles showing that face masks are totally ineffective in reducing coronavirus spread but are harmful to human health in at least 68 ways.”



“As pilots for major airlines, we have seen up close and personal the chaos in the sky created by the FTMM, with thousands of reports to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) of “unruly” passenger behavior since the FTMM took effect Feb. 1, 2021 – nearly all of which have been caused by incidents related to masks.” "We have serious concerns about the safety implications of the mask mandate, none of which were studied by CDC or HHS as the policy was rushed into place only 12 days after the inauguration of a new president who made a national mask mandate a top campaign promise – even though he acknowledged it was likely unconstitutional. The defendants have illegally failed to give passengers and employees our legally guaranteed option under the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) to refuse to use a medical device (face mask) not approved by HHS’ Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) or allowed only under an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”).”

All ten pilots submitted the following declaration as a statement of fact: “We are subject to the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate as employees in the nation’s transportation sector and are mandated to enforce the policy despite our objections.” The suit states that the HHS Secretary has said that the United States is under a Public Health Emergency Declaration since January 21, 2020. The Emergency powers are only good for 90 days or until the secretary determines that the emergency no longer exists if that occurs first. Despite no proof that there is a need for any emergency powers act it has been rolled over 8 times and is due again on April 16. There is no reason to believe they will stop abusing it. On Biden's second day in office he signed an “Executive Order Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic & International Travel.” This is what set in motion the FTMM. This was a major change from what the Trump Administration did. “Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances & at Transportation Hubs” on Feb. 1, 2020, effective immediately. This is the mask mandate being challenged in the suit. The FTMM order makes numerous false claims about the effectiveness of face coverings....The order fails to note that the scientific consensus for decades has been that face masks do not reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses and that covering one’s face causes at least 68 harms to human health. There are at least 228 scientific studies and medical articles that show this to be true. The Mandate contradicts the World Health Organization's (WHO's) recommendations and standards, including that children under six should never wear masks. Congress has never enacted a mask mandate for any sector, including transportation. No covid related bills that have been enacted have a single provision which grants the CDC or HHS the authority to require masks. Numerous bills have been introduced to require masks in the transportation sector and none of them have even made it out of committee. On March 15, the Senate voted 57-40 to pass Senate Joint Resolution 37 disapproving of CDC’s FTMM order. The CDC and HHS ignore the fact that the mask mandate impairs pilot's health, imperiling aviation safety which is a direct violation of FAA regulations.



The CDC and HHS ignore the fact that the mask mandate “have created chaos in the sky, recklessly endangering aviation safety and security.” The defendants fail to take into account that in addition to the millions of Americans who can’t safely obstruct their breathing because of a medical condition, tens of millions of Americans vehemently object to anyone ordering them to wear face masks. This is evidenced by some 5,981 incidents of “unruly” behavior aboard airplanes reported to the Federal Aviation Administration during 2021, 4,290 of which related to the FTMM. 2021 was the highest year on record and in 2022 the FAA has already received 814 reports of unruly passengers with 535 being related to mask mandates....Airplanes, airports, and other transportation conveyances and terminals are now among the last places in America where anyone is forced to block their breathing.


But passengers are allowed to drop their masks to eat and sip beverages, negating any possible positive impact of forced masking. “When you start opening it up to eating, the whole thing kind of weakens.” The Mandate has caused trouble on flights. Physical confrontations on airplanes have dramatically increased this year, and of the 3,000+ that have been recorded by the Federal Aviation Administration so far in 2021, nearly three-quarters of them have been a direct result of arguments over wearing a face mask – whether between crew members and passengers, or passengers vs. passengers...One in five flight attendants so far this year has been involved in physical altercations with unruly passengers and 85% of cabin crew members have dealt with disruptive passengers this year…” Major airlines have been calling for an end to the mask mandate for 10 months....The FTMM violates CDC’s own guidance. CDC said March 3, 2022, “some 93% of the U.S. population live in locations where COVID-19 levels are low enough that people do not need to wear masks indoors. CDC’s FTMM order overrides the mask policies of all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) that don’t require masks. Ten states never adopted a statewide mask mandate. The 40 states – seeing that mandatory masking had no effect on their COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities – have repealed their face-covering dictates. There are at least 14 states that prohibit mask mandates. The Emergency powers act needs to be repealed or the CDC could drop the mask mandate and bring it right back anytime they wish. The following are the grounds the lawsuit was brought on. Count 1: Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act: The FTMM exceeds CDC and HHS’ statutory authority under the Public Health Service Act. Count 2: Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act: Failure to observe the notice-and-comment procedure required by law before ordering the FTMM. Count 3: Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act: Arbitrary and capricious agency action in ordering the FTMM. Count 4: Violation of the Congressional Review Act: CDC and HHS did not submit the FTMM to Congress and the comptroller general before it took effect. Count 5: Violation of the separation of powers: The Public Health Service Act is an improper delegation of legislative power. Count 6: Violation of the 10th Amendment: The FTMM applies to intrastate transportation in direct conflict with the mask policies of all 50 states, infringes on the states’ sovereign police power to regulate public health, and commandeers state officials to enforce a federal order. Count 7: Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act: The FTMM violates federal law prohibiting the mandatory use of any medical device unauthorized or approved under an Emergency Use Authorization by the Food & Drug Administration. The plaintiffs want the following relief from the court: A. Declare that the mask mandate is contrary to statute and unconstitutional, vacate the order, and permanently block its enforcement worldwide. B. Issue a permanent injunction directing the CDC and HHS to remove all signs, requests, references, and requirements from all locations covered by the FTMM worldwide. C. Issue a permanent injunction stating that the defendants shall not issue any other order or regulation requiring any person wear a face mask unless such specific authority is enacted into law by Congress. D. Award the plaintiffs all costs and fees incurred when bringing this case, lawyer fees, and anything else the court deems to be proper under the circumstances.

It will be interesting to see how this suit turns out as the mandates are in fact illegal and unconstitutional. Not only do they cause major division between people who refuse to wear them and people swear by them, they have been proven not to work. As the polls continue to spiral for those pushing mandates and power grabs, we have seen politicians and even States dial them back. They should have never been put in place as it was never about anything but control. The science proves as much. The fact that you are forced to “wear them at all times on a plane” but can remove them to eat or drink is a joke that demonstrates they don't do anything. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put it pretty well when he commented on this lawsuit, saying “You go on an airplane (and) if you just want to sit there and read a magazine without a mask, they say that’s the worst thing in the world. But the person right next to you pulls their mask down and fakes sipping on water for two hours (and) they don’t have to wear the mask. I mean, give me a break. This is theater.” I agree, this is theater and this is the last act. Some people have been awake to this all along. Others are waking up by the day and saying enough of this. The pilots have a legitimate lawsuit and I imagine the mask mandates will be dropped before the end of the case. We must make sure the Emergency Powers Act is also removed so the next time the wind blows too hard and they want to make another grab at power, they can't just fire the illegal mandates up again. Written by Chris Turner Online Content Committee Chair Sources: https://www.businessinsider.com/jetblue-american-airlines-southwest-pilots-sue-cdc-federal-mask-mandate-2022-3 https://www.newsnationnow.com/health/coronavirus/airline-pilots-mask-lawsuit-cdc-hhs/

https://lucas.travel/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Carlin-v-CDC-Complaint.pdf https://lucas.travel/masksarebad/

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2022/03/18/this-is-theater-desantis-backs-pilots-suing-cdc-over-mask-mandate-on-airplanes/