Multiple businesses and residents have filed lawsuits to overturn Philadelphia’s renewed indoor mask mandate.
Background: Last week Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to reinstate its mask mandate due to a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases.
The state Supreme Court in December ruled that the governor’s administration had no legal authority to require masks in Pennsylvania’s schools and child care centers, citing state lawmakers’ elimination of an emergency disaster declaration.
The 6-0 ruling said state law gives health officials broad authority to protect public health but doesn’t permit the department “to act by whim or fiat in all matters concerning disease.” (per Newsmax)
What Happened: On Saturday a lawsuit filed with the Commonwealth Court said that city health officials of have “usurped the power and authority” of state lawmakers, the state department of health, and the state advisory health board.
What It Means: The latest pushback to mask mandates and other Covid precautions underscore the fact Americans are ready to move on from the virus and have largely accepted it will likely become part of everyday life, similar to flu season.
What Health Officials Say: “If we fail to act now, knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations, and then a wave of deaths, it will be too late for many of our residents,” Philadelphia health commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said.
However, despite the public push to move away from the virus President Biden is still requesting billions more in Coronavirus funding.