(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance says he plans to ask for unanimous passage today of his bill banning federal mask mandates until the end of next year.
If the move fails, Vance, R-Ohio, said it shows Democrats plan to bring back masks.
“Democrats insist they have no plans to mandate masking again. So, let’s hold them to their words and end the specter of COVID-19 tyranny for good,” Vance said in a news release. “Today, I will go to the Senate floor to request unanimous consent on my ‘Freedom to Breathe Act.’ That means if no one objects, the bill passes automatically. But if Senate Democrats block my legislation, they must be planning to reinstate mask mandates once again.”
On Tuesday, Vance announced the proposed legislation that would stop any federal official, including the president, from implementing a mask mandate through the end of 2024.
It would stop mandates for domestic air travel, public transit systems or primary and secondary schools, along with colleges and universities.
It would also stop airlines, transit authorities and educational institutions from refusing to serve anyone not wearing a mask.
Thursday morning, the freshman senator said Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN COVID-19 cases are spiking and people should again begin wearing masks.
“We all know how this goes. It starts with mask mandates, then social distancing, and then forced lockdowns to ‘slow the spread,’” Vance said. “None of it works, but it costs us dearly. It robbed us of our basic freedoms and shattered our national unity amid a crisis. We cannot let it happen again.”
The most recent numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show hospital admissions related to COVID-19 rose 15.7% from July 28 to Aug. 26.
In Ohio, those numbers increased 15%.
Ohio lifted its statewide mask mandate in June 2021, nearly a year after Gov. Mike DeWine issued it.