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Judge Ruling Against Mask Mandate ‘Reckless,’ Will Have ‘Racial Impacts’

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NAACP Legal Defense Fund director-counsel Janai Nelson said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “All In” that Middle District of Florida U.S. Judge Kimball Mizelle’s ruling against public transportation requiring passengers to mask is “reckless.”

Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin asked, “Should the DOJ wait for the CDC or be more forceful in appealing it regardless of what the CDC thinks in terms of public health concerns at this moment with masks?”

Nelson said, “Well, I certainly hope that the DOJ will reconsider its decision to wait until the CDC makes a decision. We have about three weeks before we get to May 3, and during that time, we might see a spike in cases. We might see an increased transmission of COVID-19 that threatens to harm so many communities including and particularly, black and brown communities that have borne the disproportionate burden of this pandemic and so many ways.”

She added, “We are talking about a pandemic in which the share of deaths among black and Latino persons is higher than their share of the population. A pandemic in which racial disparities across vectors like unemployment and housing and debt and food insufficiency and mental health have revealed a very adverse and acute effect on specific communities. So this decision, from the DOJ, and more importantly, the underlying decision from Judge Mizelle, that decision is just reckless. It’s reckless as a general matter, and it has real-world impacts, racial impacts that are preventable and avoidable.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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