World Missouri AG plans to sue St. Louis over reinstatement of mask mandate
House Republicans introduce bill to ban 'tyrannical' federal mask mandates
EXCLUSIVE: A group of House Republicans introduced legislation Friday to ban federal coronavirus mask mandates on public transportation, arguing it's time to return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Rep. Andy Biggs, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, shared his legislation first with Fox News that serves as the House companion bill to Sen. Rand Paul's mask mandate legislation in the Senate. "There is no scientific evidence for the continuation of mask mandates on public transportation," Biggs, R-Ariz., told Fox News in a statement.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he plans to file a lawsuit against and St. Louis County for reinstating a mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people over the age of 5.
Local leadersthe new requirements on Friday citing the rising number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The requirements were to take effect on Monday in indoor public places and on public transportation.
Masks are also "strongly encouraged" for groups when outdoors.
Schmitt, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, said he's heading to court to stop the new mask requirements.
LA Sheriff Refuses to Enforce New Mask Mandate: 'Not Backed by Science'
The county's Democratic party members have voted in favor of the sheriff's resignation as he has increasingly appeared on Fox News shows to criticize the city's Democratic leaders.The county's indoor mask mandate went back into effect on Saturday by order of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH). The DPH cited rising COVID-19 case numbers as the reason for reinstating the mandate. The mandate requires all people to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
"The citizens of St. Louis and St. Louis County are not subjects — they are free people," Schmitt tweeted. "As their Attorney General, I’ll be filing suit Monday to stop this insanity."
The mask requirement comes as local health officials raised new alarms about the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 and low vaccination rates, saying the extra precautions were needed to save lives.
"We’ve lost more than 500 St. Louisans to COVID-19, and if our region doesn’t work together to protect one another, we could see spikes that overwhelm our hospital and public health systems,", acting director of health for the City of St. Louis, said in a statement Friday.
St. Louis County reportedof COVID-19 on Wednesday, bumping the 7-day average up to 212, which is slightly higher than the level that it was at in mid-April. The county's average test positivity rate has risen to 9.4% over the past week, the highest it has been since late January.
Missouri AG 'optimistic' ahead of hearing challenging Biden reversal of 'Remain-in-Mexico' policy
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says he is optimistic ahead of a key hearing in a case challenging the Biden administration’s reversal of the Trump-era "Remain-in-Mexico" policy.Missouri, along with Texas, is suing the Biden administration for its reversal of the program formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the Trump-era program that kept migrants in Mexico as they awaited their hearings.
The CDC announced on May 13 that vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks, but the Delta variant's surge has caused some local officials to rethink that guidance.
Dr. Rachel Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said this week that her agency's mask guidance hasn't changed, but that "communities and individuals need to make the decisions that are right for them based on what's going on in their local areas."
Schmitt is running to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., in the Senate among a crowded field of candidates. Heearlier this month what distinguishes himself from others in the GOP field is his ability to file lawsuits to push back against the "really radical" agenda of the Biden administration.
Schmitt said the legal effort is about fighting back against authoritative executive action and protecting personal freedoms. He also took some swipes at Democratic St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones for the "raging violent crime" in her city.
Fox News' Paul Best and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Conservative reaction pours in after Dem mayors, governors impose new mask mandates: 'Kiss my mask' .
Democratic leaders around the country are facing criticism and blowback after they rushed to reimpose unpopular mask mandates following updated coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said this week that even vaccinated individuals in areas deemed as high-risk should return to wearing masks indoors – prompting the new wave in face-covering requirements. But the mandates are unpopular for numerous reasons. Some say the masks irritate them or hinder their breathing.