Judge’s ruling against ‘reckless’ mask mandate will have ‘racial impacts’

NAACP Legal Defense Fund director-attorney Janai Nelson said on MSNBC’s ‘All In’ on Tuesday that U.S. Judge Kimball Mizelle of the Central District of Florida’s ruling against public transportation requiring passengers to wear masks is ‘reckless’ .

Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin asked, “Should the DOJ wait for the CDC or be more forceful in appealing, regardless of what the CDC thinks in terms of public health issues right now with masks?”

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

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

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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