U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) announced he has introduced legislation requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide all frontline workers with necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to better protect them from coronavirus infection. The Securing All Fundamental Equipment (SAFE) While Traveling Act would also require that all passengers at national airports and train stations wear PPE as well. But it does not extend to facilities used by buses or motorcoaches, according to Rush’s office.
“During my travels to and from Washington, I was very disturbed to see the stunning lack of PPE being worn by my fellow passengers and even frontline workers. I was also equally alarmed to hear personal reports from airport workers who say they wanted to wear PPE but were prevented from doing so by their employers. That’s why I led a group of 88 House Democrats calling on DOT and DHS to issue a directive requiring the use of masks by employees and customers back in April,” said Rep. Rush in a statement.
“Although I have been encouraged to see many airports and airlines providing PPE for frontline workers and requiring PPE to be worn by passengers since then, recent reports suggest that as many as 10 national airports do not require the use of PPE by travelers and employees. This is completely unacceptable and why I have introduced the SAFE While Traveling Act, which would federally mandate the use of lifesaving PPE by all passengers and employees in our nation’s airports and train stations.
“This legislation would not only protect our nation’s frontline workers, who are literally risking their lives to make sure that our planes and trains run on time, but it would also go a long way in helping to stop the spread of this dreaded disease as states ease stay-at-home orders and Americans begin traveling again.”