May 01, 2020

Chair DeFazio Applauds Airlines for Voluntarily Adopting Masking Standards But Continues Push for Federal Requirement

Washington, DC - Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following statement after leading U.S. airlines announced they would begin requiring cloth masks for frontline employees and passengers during check-in, boarding, in-flight, and deplaning in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

“I’m encouraged to see airlines making public health a priority by requiring cloth masks during the pandemic for all passengers and the employees who interact with them. This common-sense measure is a critical step toward stopping the spread of COVID-19, which, as we’ve learned in recent weeks, has a much greater rate of transmission than previously known. That said, the safety and well-being of essential workers and anyone who needs to travel right now should not rest solely on the airline industry. We all have a role to play to stop the spread of this vicious virus, and it is reckless and wrong for the Federal government to shirk its responsibility to provide clear and consistent policies that reflect the seriousness of this global pandemic. I made a direct appeal to FAA Administrator Dickson this week for the FAA to require face coverings for crewmembers and passengers during the pandemic, and in addition, I plan to contact the TSA about requiring face coverings for all individuals before they are allowed to pass through security. I will not back down until this becomes a Federal requirement.”