WASHINGTONU.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) introduced the Maintaining Important Distance During Lengthy Epidemics (MIDDLE) Act along with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to prohibit airlines from filling adjacent seats in passenger aircraft for the duration of the pandemic and would require that passengers and crewmembers wear masks when boarding.

 

“As air travel begins to recover in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that airlines take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of travelers,” Cicilline said. “However, there is currently no federal mandate that requires airlines to put space between passengers on flights, making it difficult to social distance. Airlines are required to have seatbelts and flotation devices in the event of an emergency. We are currently in the middle of a national health emergency, and certain steps need to be taken. By halting the sale of middle seats during this public health crisis, airlines can do their part in preventing the spread of this disease.” 

 

“Filling planes to capacity, forcing passengers to sit shoulder to shoulder for hours at a time, is incredibly irresponsible during a pandemic,” said Merkley. “I’ve seen with my own eyes that airlines are willing to put their profit margins ahead of the health of their customers. If taxpayers are going to bail out airlines because they provide an essential service, it is not too much to expect the airlines not to make the pandemic worse.”

 

Click here to view the text of the legislation.

The President says America will be among the countries that will lend a helping hand to Lebanon after the massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday. Donald Trump said he was on a call Sunday morning with a number of world leaders and a number of countries have agreed to help the country recover. More than 150 people were killed and thousands injured in the blast.       Kanye West is looking to take votes from Joe Biden. That's what the Chicago-born rapper says to Forbes in an exclusive interview. West is a long-time supporter of President Trump, having met with him shortly after his election in 2016.        One of the top media tycoons in Hong Kong is being accused of colluding with foreign powers. A senior executive at Next Media announced Jimmy Lai was arrested Sunday morning. This comes after China recently imposed a law to crack down on people who oppose the country's leadership.        Robin Williams' daughter Zelda is firing back after Eric Trump shared a video of her late father. The president's son shared a video of the comic legend talking poorly about Joe Biden while performing a comedy set in 2009. Zelda replied to the tweet saying he should look up what Williams said about his father because it is much worse.        Collin Morikawa fired a six-under 64 in the final round to win the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The 23-year-old California native is the first player to win the PGA in his first appearance since 2011. His signature moment was when he drove the par-4 16th hole within seven feet leading to an eagle to put him at 13-under.