Airlines have seen an unprecedented amount of unruly behaviour by passengers in 2021, with more than 2,900 incidents already this year.
And the Federal Aviation Administration says that two-thirds of those incidents have been caused by face mask issues.
Now the Republican lawmaker from Arkansas has criticised the Biden administration and accused the White House of exacerbating the issue.
“I’ve personally seen so many flight attendants set up for failure by the Biden administration,” he claimed.
“They usually don’t want to boss around their passengers or kick them off an airplane and cause a scene that will go viral on social media ... but they’re also told they have to enforce the stupid mask mandate.”
And he claimed that there was no scientific evidence behind the mask mandate.
“It is all for no good reason – it would be one thing if there was certificated evidence that suggested that masks in airports or on airplanes or buses or trains actually slowed down the spread of the virus among the unvaccinated but that is not the case.
“Event the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, cannot defend the mandate on its merits, he doesn’t even try.”
However, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President, Sara Nelson, has previously told The Independent that much of the violence her 50,000 members have faced was stoked by the Trump administration.
“Masks were politicised, and violence was stoked. We are bearing the brunt of this every day at work, including serious injury. It’s dangerous, unacceptable, and it’s got to stop,” she said.
“Flight attendants are charged with the safety, health, and security of everyone in the cabin.
“Our instructions to the traveling public keep everyone safe. Everyone wants to have the freedom of flight. Listen up and do your part. We’re truly all in this together.”
The agency says that between 2010 and 2020 it dealt with reports of just 1,548 misbehaving passengers.