Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, has expressed support for a vaccine mandate for all commercial air passengers. Is Fauci testing the waters for an upcoming announcement from the Biden Administration?
Fauci In Support Of Vaccine Mandate For Domestic Air Travel
Speaking on The Skimm podcast, Fauci was asked about mandatory vaccines for air travel. he answered:
“I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel. If you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated.”
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The pronouncement comes just days after the Biden Administration announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all federal government employees and an obligatory vaccine requirement for employees in private companies with more than 100 employees or a strict new testing regime.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Travel Association responded that while it supports vaccinations, it has “long maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel.”
“Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine…Proper tools are already in place to enable safe air travel for Americans.”
However, Fauci was not clear on whether his idea to require vaccines for air travel would impact those under 12 years old, for whom the COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved.
While the White House has refused to indicate what direction it is moving, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients did not rule out a travel mandate:
“We’re pulling available levers to require vaccinations and we’re not taking any measures off the table.”
One problem the Biden Administration faces is that it would need to use airlines to enforce any vaccine mandate. United CEO Scott Kirby has said that such a requirement is “logistically impractical” (though he later said that United has the technology to implement it) while Delta CEO Ed Bastian called it a “logistical dilemma” that could “bottleneck the domestic travel system.”
But Fauci told MSNBC, “You’re not in a vacuum. You’re part of society.”
I believe the Biden Administration is laying the groundwork for a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel in the coming weeks. Fauci’s statements are “feeling the water” and I expect we will hear more from more White House officials in the days to come on this matter.
How would you respond to a vaccine mandate for air travel?
image: Northwestern University