Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the United States, has called for unvaccinated passengers to be barred from flights, saying that removing masks on planes is “not something we should even be considering.”
He made his remarks despite the fact that hundreds of flights in the United States have been cancelled as a result of the spread of the Omicron variant across the country.
On ABC’s This Week on Sunday night, December 26, Fauci responded to Jonathan Karl’s question about the possibility of requiring vaccines for domestic air travel.
‘We want to make sure everyone wears their masks.’ ‘In my opinion, taking off masks is not something we should even consider,’ Fauci said.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told a Senate hearing earlier this month that masks “don’t add much” to protecting airline passengers from COVID transmission.
‘Of course, the airline CEOs were implying that — you know, that we might not — might not need a mask.’ I hear you loud and clear, you disagree on a — on an airplane,’
Fauci now disagrees with the airline executive, stating that the government may implement a vaccine mandate for domestic and international air travel in order to increase the percentage of vaccine rollout across the United States.
‘A vaccine requirement for a person getting on a plane is just another level of getting people to have a mechanism that would spur them to get vaccinated; namely, you can’t get on a plane unless you’re vaccinated, which is just another way of getting requirements, whatever that might be,’ Fauci explained.
‘So, I mean, anything that could get more people vaccinated would be great.’ But, in terms of virus spread in the country, I mean, I think if you look at wearing a mask and filtration on planes, things are reasonably safe,’ he continued.
Approximately 204,740,321 Americans, or 62% of the population, have received both COVID vaccine doses.