A day after a federal judge struck down the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mandate masks during travel, a doctor canceled her travel plans, saying it wasn’t worth the risk of long covid to her health.
Dr. Aysha Khoury is an assistant professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to this, Khoury was an internist and staff physician at Kaiser Permanente.
Tampa U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, 35, on April 18 struck down the public transportation mask mandate implemented by President Joe Biden’s administration as “unlawful” and ruled that the CDC had overstepped its legal authority by imposing it in February 2021.
Khoury announced the following day, that she’d canceled her flight.
“Just cancelled my next flight. Flying shouldn’t come with a possible side of dementia, or hospitalization, or long COVID,” Khoury tweeted.
The doctor attached a chart showing why cloth masks aren’t real safeguards against the omicron variant. The more recent BA.2 strain of omicron is said to spread faster than the original.
Some Twitter users were critical of the doctor’s stance.
“Why cancel flight? 1) Filtration on airplanes is excellent. 2) If you wear a N95, the risk is very low even if others wear nothing. 3) It’s not N95 x Nothing (from the table) because there is HEPA filtration (airplane),” @cadependdiallo tweeted.
“Can you name one flight that had a COVID outbreak traced back to it? As noted, people don’t wear the mask correctly, wear substandard masks and take them off to eat and drink,” @diegosundevil chimed in. “If planes were a bad environment, we’d already know this. They aren’t.”
Others agreed with Dr. Khoury. “Was almost ready to travel again. Now,nope.will not fly unless mask mandates reinstated,” user @anjouljg tweeted.
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“I was boarding a flight when the announcement came down,” @jendinger responded. “About an hour into the flight the pilot came on and dramatically said it was the best announcement of his career and proceeded to tell the passengers they could take their masks off. About half the plane did.”
“They cheered too. Including the family behind me that had and continued to cough the entire flight,” Dinger added in a follow-up tweet with an annoyed emoji.
“Because filtration doesn’t kick in until the plane is cruising at plus 100mph. That means the time you are in the airport & on the ground, there is no filtration whatsoever,” @npkvpgmmn5 wrote.
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