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Senator Wicker urges President Biden to...

Senator Wicker urges President Biden to remove DOD mask mandates

By: Anne Summerhays - March 4, 2022

The Department of Defense recently lifted an indoor mask mandate at the Pentagon, but left restrictions in place at facilities across the country.

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter to President Joe Biden and urged him to lift mask mandates at all Department of Defense (DOD) installations. DOD recently lifted an indoor mask mandate at the Pentagon, but many major DOD installations are still under a mask mandate, including: Fort Bragg, Naval Base San Diego, Naval Station Mayport, and Whiteman Air Force Base.

Senator Wicker stated that he attended President Biden’s State of the Union Address, in which he noted that our country has “reached a new moment” in the coronavirus pandemic and called on Americans to begin resuming their pre-COVID work and lifestyle routines.

“Accordingly, you said that “Americans can remove their masks, return to work, stay in the classroom, and move forward safely.” This return to pre-COVID life is welcome and long overdue,” Senator Wicker said in the letter.

Wicker said that despite the President’s statement that Americans can remove their masks and return to work, current guidance from the DOD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would keep many U.S. military service members in masks based on their county’s COVID-19 Community Level.

Sen. Wicker cited Naval Air Station Meridian in Lauderdale County, which remains in a COVID-19 Community Level designated as “high,” according to the CDC. This designation requires all Navy personnel at NAS Meridian to wear a mask at all times indoors.

“If our Commander-in-Chief and Joint Chiefs of Staff can work with high-level staff without a mask, then surely our men and women in uniform across this country should be able to do the same,” the letter continued.

“I ask that you move to fix this disparity without delay,” the letter concluded.

You can view the full letter here.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: