Flyers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport wearing facemasks on March 6th, 2020 as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads throughout the United States via Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK — The Centers for Disease Control recently judged that fully vaccinated Americans should be free to ditch their masks indoors and outdoors.


The same should apply on airlines, starting 30 seconds from now.

I endured a first-hand experience in the sheer folly and tyranny of airborne mask mandates on Monday afternoon. I flew back to New York City after four glorious days in lovely, charming Charleston, South Carolina. I spent Monday morning touring historic Fort Sumter before heading to the airport for JetBlue Flight 1674 to JFK.

After we reached 33,980 feet and a cruising speed of 521 MPH, the flight crew handed out drinks and snacks. I had a small orange juice and some delicious PopCorners chips, made with pressed popcorn and a delightful hint of sugar.

As I savored this very tasty treat, handed to me by a JetBlue steward, that same crew member soon told me, “Sir, you have to wear your mask.”

“I can’t,” I answered. “I’m still eating.”

He returned about 20 minutes later, to harass me again and insist that I wear my mask, which actually is a Copper Fit gator that I have kept around my neck and lifted over my mouth and nose on request. I have used these items over the last year. While more intrusive than no mask at all, they allow a modicum of respiration, unlike the smothering-pillow sensation that most masks instill.

“I’m still eating my chips,” I explained to him, once more.

A few minutes later, a stewardess approached me and placed a yellow slip on my tray table.

“NOTICE TO CEASE OBJECTIONABLE AND ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR,” it officiously declared. “Your behavior violates federal law,” the form stated, “Immediate cooperation is required to avoid prosecution and removal from this aircraft at the point of arrival.”

Citing chapter and verse of various statutes, this “formal warning” indicated that federal law prohibits “interference or intimidation of an airline crewmember,” “creating an alcoholic disturbance,” “Smoking on any JetBlue flight or in the aircraft lavatory,” or “Drinking any alcoholic beverage unless served by a crewmember.” I committed precisely zero of these misdeeds.

Astonished, I told the stewardess that I could not wear my mask while finishing my PopCorners chips.

“You’ve been eating the whole time,” she snapped. “Those are just crumbs.”

I know of no federal law that compels any American to wolf down his food. As my friends know, I am a painfully slow eater — never mind that my sainted, but even slower, mother accuses me of wolfing down my meals. If eating slowly is illegal, that’s news to me. As for crumbs, where is it written that one cannot eat the tiny bits of chips at the bottom of the bag, especially when they are too delicious to discard? Waste not, want not.

The stewardess coldly announced: “You will be met on the ground.”

I e-mailed a dear friend back home, via in-flight WiFi:

“If you don’t hear from me, call Fox News and tell them to blast Jet Blue and Fauci!” I told him, expecting a detachment of machine-gun-toting agents to drag me off the plane. “With any luck, I will not be in jail.”

A few minutes later, worried that this could get really ugly, I sent my friend another, slightly more serious e-mail. “Just in case these people put a knee on my neck and kill me, let me say this:

“It was really wonderful knowing you. You are a very special man, and I am so lucky ever to have called you my friend and been yours. Too bad we didn’t meet sooner.”

“I will leave it to you to lead the Deroy Murdock Riots.”

As we made our final descent, the pushy steward/tormentor told the passengers via the P.A. system, “Please remain seated until I make an announcement.”

As the jet door opened, I anticipated flight marshals, or worse, to come aboard. Instead, a serious-looking, but unthreatening, woman stepped onto the plane, walked down the aisle to seat 5C, and told me that she was JetBlue’s lead gate agent. “Please come with me.”

I asked, “Is there a problem?”

“Let’s speak off the plane,” she replied.

As we traversed the jetway, she said that the crew contacted airport personnel from almost 34,000 feet to report me for being “uncooperative.”

I explained that I was eating the very same chips that the crew asked me to consume, and that I could not do so while wearing a mask.

“Passengers have to wear masks on board,” she said.

“I can’t do that and eat.”

She repeated the policy and said that she wanted to make me aware of it.

She was polite and respectful. Thankfully, this was not the TSA SWAT team that I feared would make this a federal incident. No handcuffs. No six-pack on the cold airport tile. No knee in the neck.

Still, this was way too much ado about nothing.

Jets now filter air more thoroughly than kidneys clean blood. Vaccinations are available everywhere, and some 60 percent of American adults have had at least one COVID-19 inoculation. And those who are vulnerable or terrified are perfectly free to avoid airplanes. Only prisoners are forced onto aircraft at gunpoint.

CDC says that fully vaccinated people can ditch masks indoors and out. So, let’s dump all airborne mask mandates. Those who love masks can continue to wear them — for health reasons, to broadcast their virtue in Hogg-like fashion, or both.

And the rest of us can discard these infernal masks once and for all and enjoy the friendly skies.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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1 year ago

A free people should never live in fear of the tyranny from the government THEY elect, and whose salaries we pay. Never.

Michael Gilliam
1 year ago
Reply to  Linda

Most definitely. So it should go without saying that WE should also NEVER live in fear of a GOVERNMENT that WE DIDN’T ELECT.

1 year ago

Isn’t that the truth. But that is how the DemonRats operate. They has long forgotten that they work for we the people, and we are paying their salaries. Bunch of crooks and criminals.

1 year ago

hate democrats

1 year ago
Reply to  marteremal

Democrats hate.

Linda Black
1 year ago

Did they tell you if anyone had complained? Some folks seem to enjoy the petty tyrant role.

1 year ago

And some people just look for ways to cause a disturbance!! When in Rome, do as RomansA hole lot.

Frances Weingarten
1 year ago

I wholeheartedly agree! It’s well past time to be rid of the masks! They don’t do much good but are certainly responsible for a lot of discomfort! The only people who benefit from the masks are those who sell them to us! Enough is enough!!

1 year ago

The Masks eliminate 50% Oxygen to Your Brain, Look what that is doing to the DemonRats.?? But think of the mask as a Chicken fence, and the Virus as a mosquito flying right thru that fence, and if anyone take their time to read the Warning label, ((This Mask Will NOT protect You from any type of Virus, Only from Germs and Bacteria.!!)) And CV-19. is a VIRUS.!! If I’ Know, So do they.

1 year ago

Glad to hear you are safe and sound on the ground. Disgusting that you were treated so poorly in the air.

1 year ago

We, the world, is in a very sad state and seems nothing can be done. The big question is, can we possibly survive under this politically communist situation? The Republicans can’t or won’t do squat.

1 year ago

Wonder if Deroy Murdock will be permitted on another Jet Blue flight? It would be interesting to hear the rest of the story if he is denied flying on Jet Blue because he eats too slow.

1 year ago

The solution is simple. Stay off the airlines unless you absolutely must fly, such as for business or an emergency. And let them know why you are taking the car or train instead. Perhaps the message will sink in.

1 year ago

When are we going to come together and show these creatins how many conservatives are in AMERICA. We are Millions let our voice be heard that this idiotic nonsense has to stop. All of it.

1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Hull

I’m with You 110%.

Tom Foolery
1 year ago

That’s one way to get to deplane FIRST. You beat the deplane crunch

Tom Foolery
1 year ago

At least you got to get off the airplane FIRST . . . . You beat the Deplane Crunch

1 year ago

Did anyone even think about 1918 it was lessening and then they put on those filthy masks and the flu skyrocketed dr f u fauci is and still is an ass They want power over you

sheryl barnes
1 year ago

Good article. Shows how utterly stupid some are about this whole mask business.

1 year ago

The Damned RED Chinese Commies Created COVID in the WuHu Virus Study/Creation lab, and infected the World with it! This was no accident! The Next one they release will be even deadlier! Get Ready!!

1 year ago

What about us that knows the Danger of this Population Control Vaccine. 03/24-21. 3.964. has died from this stupid CV-19. Vaccine. more than 67.K. badly injured. Not approved by the FDA, and never will be. Norway stopped all Vaccination all together, More People Died from the Vaccine than from Covid.?? Survival rate from the Virus/flu. 99.7%. from the Vaccine 92.5%.?? What is the sense. and Why Put Covid in Your Body by injection if you ware Covid Free. Plus Mercury, Micro chips, and a bounch of other garbage.??

Kelly Miller
1 year ago

If the airlines want my business/ money they need to relent on their mask policy. Until then I will stay on the ground and avoid the airborne gestapo.