AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Tuesday was the first full day of masks no longer being required on planes after a federal judge struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel mask mandate. Masks are optional on public transit including planes, trains, and buses.

Trump-appointed US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the CDC overstepped its authority in issuing the original health order. She also said the order was fatally flawed because it didn’t follow proper rulemaking procedures.

The CDC still continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time. According to a statement released by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, officials said that the Department of Justice and the CDC “disagree with the district court’s decision and will appeal, subject to (the) CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health.”

“The Department continues to believe that the order requiring masking in the transportation corridor is a valid exercise of the authority Congress has given CDC to protect the public health,” the statement reads. “That is an important authority the Department will continue to work to preserve… If CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public’s health after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court’s decision.”

Regional Chair of Family & Community Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Dr. Rodney Young said certain measures have helped keep COVID-19 under control and helped reestablish some sense of normality sooner.

“I know that’s been a source of frustration for people with the CDC with changes in advice and redirection and things during the pandemic, but that’s a signal that they are paying attention to the data and monitoring the situation closely,” said Dr. Young.

Young said there isn’t enough data to know enough for sure if removing the mask mandate was a good move. He said time will tell.

But Young said there are studies that show what might have happened during the pandemic had certain measures not been taken.

“The number of deaths that have been adverted in the US alone is greater than two million by the things that we have done. So we still haven’t hit the one million deaths mark, but we know we’ve had a two-thirds reduction in what would have happened,” said Young.

Rep. Ronny Jackson said in a statement on Twitter Tuesday regarding the appeal of the mandate, “THANK YOU to District Judge Mizelle (who was nominated by PRESIDENT TRUMP!!) for rescinding the arbitrary anti-science mask mandate on planes. COVID mandates EVERYWHERE need to be DONE!”

Southwest Airlines said in a statement that “masks are no longer required onboard Southwest Airlines or in most airports but certain cities, states, and countries may still require masks. We encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing and to check local airport mask policies when traveling. “