CHICAGO — In a legal challenge to a public health mask order, the American Medical Association (AMA) today defended the authority of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enact reasonable, evidence-based public health measures that curb the spread of illness and protect those at highest risk from serious harm.

An AMA amicus brief (PDF) filed in Health Freedom Defense Fund v. Biden urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to reverse a district court’s order striking down the CDC’s public transportation mask order on a nationwide basis.

“The CDC’s core mission of protecting the public from serious illness, injury, and death requires that public health officials have the ability to exercise reasonable judgment in the face of evolving conditions and the authority to enact evidence-based measures when necessary,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, M.D. “The AMA is urging the court to acknowledge the CDC’s authority to enact measures to protect the public’s health , recognizing that health authorities have the expertise to make determinations that promote public health in rapidly evolving circumstances.”

As part of its mission to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health, the AMA works in the courts to support evidence-based measures that reduce the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of our nation’s workforces, families, and communities.