Truck convoy circles Capital Beltway for 4th day, as travel mask mandate extended-Xinhua

Martinez

Trucks and other cars gather during a truck convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Hagerstown, Maryland, the United States, on March 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Xinhua) — A convoy of truckers and other drivers circled the Capital Beltway that surrounds Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the fourth day since their demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions began here early this week.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz visited the convoy camping outside a speedway in Hagerstown, a Maryland city approximately 70 miles (around 110 km) northwest of the capital, before riding in one of the trucks in the morning.

Cruz also held a press conference in Washington, D.C., alongside Brian Brase, an organizer of the so-called “People’s Convoy,” after the ride.

The Texas Republican’s appearance came a day after he and Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, met with convoy participants on Capitol Hill.

Brian Tyler Cohen, a progressive political host, tweeted on Thursday afternoon that Cruz “is simultaneously complaining about gas prices while riding shotgun” with the truck convoy in circles “over and over to protest mandates that don’t exist.”

The convoy, a spinoff from protests in Canada staged by truckers upset with vaccine requirements earlier this year, is calling for an end to the national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States that led to what they called “overreaching mandates.”

A U.S. transportation security agency announced on Thursday that it will “extend the security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for one month, through April 18th,” as states and cities are easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor.”

“This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science,” the TSA statement read. “We will communicate any updates publicly if and/or when they change.”

The United States has reported more than 79 million COVID-19 cases and 964,000 deaths, both the highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

“Covid has moved to the back of many people’s minds, but the pandemic isn’t over,” Tom Frieden, former CDC director, tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

“To save lives now, we must keep pushing for better tracking and better access to vaccines, tests, and treatment globally,” Frieden wrote. “To save lives from future pandemic threats, we must prepare better.”

The truckers started hitting the Capital Beltway in convoy on Sunday and took a break on Wednesday due to rain.

Capitol Police said previously they did not expect the convoy to cause security problems in the Washington metropolitan area.

Trucks and other cars gather during a truck convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Hagerstown, Maryland, the United States, on March 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Trucks and other cars gather during a truck convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Hagerstown, Maryland, the United States, on March 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Trucks and other cars gather during a truck convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Hagerstown, Maryland, the United States, on March 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Next Post

When to book flights and hotels, how to deal with COVID-19 rules

Thinking of taking an international trip? You’re such a contrarian. Only about a third of Americans are comfortable with traveling internationally now, according to the latest figures from Morning Consult. Why the hesitation? It could be all the required paperwork: passports, coronavirus tests and vaccination documentation. But mostly, people are […]