Vaccine mandate for air travel is ‘under consideration,’ says Fauci

After advocating the banning of unvaccinated people from air travel, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday the idea is “under consideration” by the Biden administration.

The top White House health adviser said in an MSNBC interview that “requiring vaccination for travel is something that is on the table for discussion.”

“It has not been decided yet,” Fauci said.

On Monday, Fauci said in a podcast interview he would “support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the COVID-19 Vaccine Kick-Off event at the National Institutes of Health on Dec. 22, 2020 (National Institutes of Health photo)

However, the U.S. Travel Association said Monday in response to Fauci’s comment that scientific studies show air travel is safe as long as face masks are worn.

“U.S. Travel 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,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, the association’s executive vice president of public affairs and policy.

In an MSNBC interview last month, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said any vaccine mandate for air travel would be a “government responsibility and requirement.”

Last Thursday, President Biden signed an executive order requiring vaccination for federal workers and contractors. And he directed the Department of Labor to issue an emergency rule requiring all private employers with 100 or more employees to make sure every worker is vaccinated or produces a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.

On Friday, Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, was asked by a reporter about the possibility of a government vaccine mandate for air travel.

“Overall, I think we have a — you know, a very strong track record that shows we’re pulling available levers to acquire vaccinations and we’re not taking any measures off the table,” he said.

See Fauci’s remarks:

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Author: Art Moore


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