October 29, 2020

The Department of Transportation Says It’s Not There to Ensure Passenger Safety

In late July, members of 33 transportation unions—flight attendants, pilots, TSA inspectors, ferry workers, bus drivers, and others—filed an official petition with the Department of Transportation begging for a federal mask mandate on all commercial transportation.

Such a move clearly would have made sense. Trains, planes, and buses cross state lines, so the only way to have consistent measures for the protection of these workers at all times would be for the federal government to set the rules.

It took until Friday, October 2, for the DOT to issue its response—and it’s stunning.

The same day President Trump was evacuated to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment of Covid-19, a letter from the DOT (led by Elaine Chao, the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell) went out.

It said, basically, Sorry, workers, we don’t want to help you.

Acting as deputy secretary for the DOT, General Counsel Steven

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