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Archive for April 21st, 2022

TSA Removes COVID-19 Employee Information After Mask Mandate Lifted

By Steve Neavling

The TSA is no longer reporting the number of its employees who are actively infected with COVID-19, Forbes first reported.

The move came after a federal judge struck down the mask mandate aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. 

As of last month, when the agency was still posting the number of positive cases among TSA employees, nearly 23,000 of its workers had been infected by COVID-19 and 36 had died, more than any other federal agency. 

The agency removed the number of total confirmed cases, as well as a list of airports and the number of employees who were infected at each. 

“TSA was among the only agencies to report its infection information so transparently,” a TSA spokesperson told Forbes via email.

On Monday, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a Florida judge who was appointed by President Donald Trump, struck down the mask requirement on airplanes, trains, buses, and other public transportation. 

The Justice Department said Wednesday that it is appealing the decision. 

Biden to Replace Acting ATF Director with Top Prosecutor in Arizona

By Steve Neavling

President Biden will pick Gary M. Restaino, the top prosecutor in Arizona, to serve as interim director of the ATF until a permanent one is confirmed, the Associated Press reports.

Biden’s administration is removing the ATF’s acting director, Marvin G. Richardson, who has been accused by gun advocates of cozying up to the gun industry.

Richardson will remain at the agency and advise Restaino, the AP reported.  

The move comes about a week after Biden announced he was nominating Steven Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney, to serve as the permanent director.

Biden’s first pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate for confirmation last year.