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People wearing masks aboard a tram in the Miami International Airport in Florida on Sept. 3. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Biden directed the Transportation Security Administration on Thursday to double fines on travelers who refuse to wear masks.

Why it matters: It's part of the Biden administration's effort to control the coronavirus as cases and hospitalizations largely driven by the Delta variant surge nationwide.

  • A federal mandate requires travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains, buses and other forms of public transportation.
  • Starting Friday, penalties for not wearing a mask will increase to between $500 to $1,000 for first offenders and $1,000 to $3,00o for second offenders.

What they're saying: "If you break the rules, be prepared to pay," Biden said in a speech. "And, by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong. It’s ugly."

The big picture: The Federal Aviation Administration has received 4,184 reports of unruly passengers so far in 2021, more than 70% of which were related to mask requirements on flights.

Go deeper: Biden mandates COVID vaccines for federal workers, with no option for testing

Go deeper

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study — FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adultsU.S. to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8.
  2. Health: New cases down, but the West is at risk — Low vaccination rates exacerbate America's caregiving crisis — COVID is here to stay. So what does "victory" look like? — FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill.
  3. Politics: NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated — WHO names new advisory group on COVID origins — Biden admin warns Moderna to "step up" global vaccine supply.
  4. Education: LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive — Arizona can't use aid for anti-mask education grants, Treasury says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."