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Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

A group of Senate Republicans on Friday pressed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop requiring masks for fully vaccinated people on public transportation.

Why it matters: The CDC lifted mask requirements for fully vaccinated people in nearly all indoor spaces last month. Transportation is one of the few exceptions.

What they're saying: In a resolution introduced on Friday, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called on the CDC to lift mask requirements for people on public transit including airplanes, trains, buses, rail systems, airports and train stations.

  • The lawmakers argued it "would incentivize a greater number of individuals to receive the COVID–19 vaccine."
  • "Over 150 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated and mask mandates have been lifted across the country. But the CDC inexplicably still hasn’t lifted the mask mandate for public transportation," Cruz said in a statement. "It’s long past time for President Biden and the CDC to follow the science."

The big picture: The Transportation Security Administration has extended orders to enforce mask mandates through Sept. 13.

  • Masking has become a frequent cause for unruly behavior on airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration has received over 2,300 reports of passengers refusing to wear masks as required.
  • The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airlines, supports the sustained mandate, Reuters reports.

Go deeper

Murkowski slams comparisons of mask mandates to Nazism in Alaska

Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) voiced alarm and frustration about the surge of COVID cases in her state on Friday, decrying comparisons of mask mandates to Nazism.

Why it matters: Alaska's number of weekly cases has steadily increased in recent months, jumping 10% from just last week, according to state health data. Meanwhile, anti-vaxxers continue to protest mask and vaccine mandates in increasingly hostile situations.

Newsom orders COVID-19 vaccine mandate for California students

Students attending school in L.A. Unified School District. Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Friday that all eligible public and private school students will be mandated to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, once it has been given final approval from the FDA.

Why it matters: This is the first K-12 COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker