Anthony Fauci Says U.S. Should Consider Requiring Vaccination for Air Travel
President Joe Biden’s medical adviser said a domestic travel vaccination rule should be considered as the omicron variant fuels record Covid-19 case loads in some states and holiday travel continues to be disrupted around the U.S.
Anthony Fauci said on MSNBC on Monday that it would be “reasonable to consider” a requirement to be vaccinated for coronavirus before getting on a domestic flight. Later, in an interview on CNN, he said people should consider avoiding larger New Year’s Eve parties.
“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” Fauci said. “If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.”
Biden claimed Monday that Fauci, the governors of several states had asked about any new rules for air travel. The lobbying group for major U.S. air carriers, Airlines for America, said the administration had indicated that such a mandate wasn’t coming in the near term.
“We have been informed by the administration that there is no imminent policy proposal regarding a domestic travel requirement and echo concerns expressed by the administration about the implementation and enforcement of such a policy,” the group said in a statement.
Fauci reiterated, however, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are serious about discussing how to reduce isolation and quarantine times for critical workers.
Aircraft with no fuel
U.S. airlines had to abandon about 2,800 flights in response to an increase in case numbers over the holiday weekend due staff shortages. It also disrupted some plans for college football games that end the academic year.
U.S. travel stocks declined on Monday despite market gains. United Airlines Holdings Inc. fell 0.9% at 12.57 pm in New York. American Airlines Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. both lost 0.8%. Carnival Corp. dropped 1.5% while Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. suffered 2.1% decline and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. was down 2.9%.
Some studies suggest that the omicron variant of the disease is milder, especially for those who are vaccinated. However, increasing cases have raised concerns that hospitals may still have to handle a high volume of patients. A situation which has been seen in some parts the U.S.
Biden and the National Governors Association will be discussing the U.S. situation on Monday. Following a rise in Covid-19 infection to records in several states (including New York), Biden made these remarks on Monday.
–With assistance from Mary Schlangenstein and Justin Sink.