Dr. Anthony Fauci and the U.S. Travel Association are at odds on a possible vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.
Speaking to theSkimm last Friday, Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, revealed that he’s in favor of such a mandate, which would require travelers to be fully vaccinated in order to board a domestic flight.
Fauci was careful to clarify that he is not proposing this mandate, only that he would be supportive of it if it was enacted.
“It’s on the table; we haven’t decided yet,” he said (via the Washington Post). “But if the president said, ‘You know, let’s go ahead and do it,’ I would be supportive of it.”
Fauci’s support of this possible mandate drew a quick response from the U.S. Travel Association. Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Travel Association, argues that the travel precautions currently used by airlines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are sufficient and that a vaccine mandate would be unfair.
“The science — including studies from the Harvard School of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Defense — overwhelmingly points to the safety of air travel as long as masks are worn,” Emerson Barnes said (via Travel Pulse). “And with the federal mask mandate for all forms of public transportation and U.S. airports extended through January 2022, proper tools are already in place to enable safe air travel for Americans.”
Emerson Barnes added that, while the U.S. Travel Association is against a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel, it is supportive of vaccination generally.
“Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine,” Emerson Barnes said. “While U.S. Travel does not endorse a national vaccine mandate, we continue to believe that vaccines are the fastest path back to normalcy for all, and we strongly encourage all who are eligible to get a vaccine immediately to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors.”