The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Tampa, Florida, lists the defendants as President Joe Biden, the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In a statement, the HFDF's President and Founder, Leslie Manookian, said: “The CDC is not a nationwide police force. Americans must not be dictated to in this manner by anyone, let alone unelected, unaccountable technocrats at CDC.”
In an interview with the Epoch Times, Manookian explained that Biden is part of the suit because he is the one who wrote the executive order mandating masks, while the CDC implemented it. The order in question was issued on January 21 and is known as Executive Order 13998, "Requirement for persons to wear masks while on conveyances and at transportation hubs."
She said that the executive branch is not meant to create laws. Moreover, it is not being applied appropriately because people with legitimate exemptions are still being banned from flying on the part of the airlines. Airlines are telling passengers they will be fined and kicked off planes for noncompliance because it is a federal law, but she said there is no statute and it is not, in fact, federal law.
She also pointed to research showing that covering your airway reduces the flow of oxygen and increases carbon dioxide, affecting the brain and the body in negative ways. In addition, she pointed out that face masks can disrupt human interaction, saying that it makes us "faceless animals."
George Wentz of the Davillier Law Group, who is representing the HFDF, said that he believes the lawsuit has a good chance of success given the overreach the CDC is engaging in. Wentz said that the CDC, whose leaders are not elected, simply does not have the power to make law for the United States.
He added: “We’re pushing back against federal overreach and we’re protecting the rights of American citizens to self-determine, to use their brains to act responsibly, which we believe they will if they’re free to do so.”
In June, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against a March 2020 order from the CDC that locked down the entire cruise ship industry. According to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the federal government lacks the authority to lock down entire industries indefinitely.
The HFDF believes that the mask mandates are unjust, and their goal is to rectify what they perceive as health injustices through not only legal challenges but also education and advocacy.
The watchdog group filed its lawsuit the day after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas rejected an air traveler’s emergency application for a preliminary injunction against the CDC for its mandate requiring the travelers to wear a face covering.
The traveler, Lucas Wall, said that generalized anxiety disorder prevents him from wearing a mask, and he was barred from boarding a flight from Orlando last month because of it. Since then, he has been “stranded” at his mother’s house in The Villages retirement community. Justice Thomas, who oversees the appeals circuit that covers Florida, did not explain why he rejected the application. Wall is also suing airlines and federal agencies.
Mask mandates are one of those COVID-19 measures that are very tricky to navigate. Regardless of where you fall on the debate over the efficacy of masks, it’s hard to defend a measure put in place by unelected CDC workers that has the power to restrict people’s freedom of movement.
Sources for this article include: