(The Center Square) – U.S. Senator JD Vance said he plans to seek unanimous passage today of his bill banning federal mask mandates until the end of next year.
If the decision fails, Vance, R-Ohio, said that shows Democrats’ plan to bring back masks.
“Democrats insist they have no intention of mandating mask-wearing again. So let’s keep them on our word and end the specter of COVID-19 tyranny for good,” Vance said in a press release. “Today I will be going to the Senate to ask for unanimous consent on my ‘Freedom to Breathe Act.’ This means that if no one objects, the bill automatically passes. But if Senate Democrats block my legislation, they should consider reinstating mask mandates again.
On Tuesday, Vance announced the bill that would prevent any federal official, including the president, from implementing a mask mandate until the end of 2024.
This would end mandates for domestic air travel, public transit systems, or elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities.
It would also prevent airlines, transport authorities and educational institutions from refusing to serve anyone not wearing a mask.
On Thursday morning, the freshman senator said Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that COVID-19 cases were rising and people should start wearing masks again.
“We all know how it goes. It starts with mandatory mask-wearing, then social distancing, then enforced lockdowns to ‘slow the spread,'” Vance said. “None of this is working, but it’s costing us dearly. It deprived us of our fundamental freedoms and broke our national unity in the midst of a crisis. We cannot let this happen again.
The most recent figures from the United States Centers for Disease Control show that hospitalizations related to COVID-19 increased by 15.7% between July 28 and August 26.
In Ohio, those numbers have increased by 15%.
Ohio lifted its statewide mask mandate in June 2021, nearly a year after Governor Mike DeWine issued it.