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Feds will appeal mask ruling only if mandate still needed

Passengers wait in line at the security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National...
Passengers wait in line at the security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Arlington, Va. A federal judge's decision to strike down a national mask mandate was met with cheers on some airplanes but also concern about whether it's really time to end the order sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(Evan Vucci | AP)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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(AP) - The Justice Department says it will not appeal a federal district judge’s ruling that ended the nation’s federal mask mandate on public transit unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the requirement is still necessary.

A Florida judge on Monday ended the sweeping mandate, which required face coverings on planes and trains and in transit hubs.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said Tuesday that officials believe the federal mask order was “a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health.”

The CDC continues to assess public health conditions, and if the agency determines a mandate is necessary, the Justice Department will file an appeal.

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