The effort to ban mask mandates on public transportation is gaining steam as another major supporter has joined the fight. Last week, the American Conservative Union (ACU) announced its support of the push to end the requirement, which it says is an “unwarranted government imposition of authoritarian control over the public.” The ACU, the nation’s oldest conservative grassroots organization, joins a steadily expanding alliance seeking an end to the mandate, which has been supported by a number of Republican governors, U.S. senators, industry groups, and conservative activists in recent weeks.
The ACU’s fight against the mask mandate has come amidst mounting pressure from both lawmakers and citizens to put an immediate end to the requirement, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended for months now. While supporters of the mandate are quick to point out the numerous scientific studies that seem to back up the efficacy of wearing masks, opponents of the policy maintain that such evidence is inconclusive and that the risk of government overreach is too great.
Among those joining the ACU in the pushback against the mask mandate is Senator Ted Cruz, who has called the mandate “a clear violation of the individual liberties of the American people.” Other congressional figures who have come out against the requirement include Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona. Industry groups, too, are voicing their displeasure with the mandate. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has led the charge in speaking out against the policy, labeling it an “unnecessary overreach” that “impedes the ability of individuals to conduct business.”
The decision over whether or not to maintain the mask mandate has largely been left up to state and local authorities. While some areas, like the District of Columbia, have modified their mask policy to allow for exemptions in certain scenarios, the majority of areas are sticking with the CDC’s recommendation. For their part, the ACU is vowing to continue their fight against the mandate until it is completely abolished. “Americans have had enough of these oppressive measures from government,” the group said in a statement. “We demand freedom for all.”