Congress May Require Vaccination to Fly; It’s Already Happening Elsewhere And Saving Lives
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Vaccination Requirements For Air Travel
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 30, 2021) - Senior Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced "legislation requiring passengers on domestic flights to be vaccinated, test negative or be fully recovered from a previous COVID illness."
And, as a flight expert has noted, "If it were to become law it really would just be kind of adding restrictions in the U.S. that already exist elsewhere in the world and that have been working pretty well to contain COVID . . .I really don't see any way where it would be a big problem although passengers may be a little bit upset based on what we've seen in the past in the U.S."
This could add pressure to members of Biden's COVID advisory committee who are considering a proposal to require those wishing to fly to have received at least one injection. Here's how the proposal now under consideration was explained, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
Dr. Anthony Fauci Supports Vaccination Requirement
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, has expressed his support for COVID-19 vaccination requirements for air travel, saying - “I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinate."
Meanwhile, several official White House sources has stated on the record that such a requirement has not be ruled out, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has been promoting the idea for weeks with the President's COVID advisors, and who spelled out the arguments they are considering in White House is Considering Requiring Vaccination to Fly; Will be Mandated For International Flights; Canada Already Has One.
This is very likely to occur because proof of vaccination will soon be a de facto requirement for international flights, and Canada has already adopted such a requirement, says Banzhaf, who proposed this tactic to the President's COVID advisors weeks ago - along with suggestions for using his executive authority over grants, and to require vaccination of federal workers, both of which have now occurred.
Travel In The Case Of Emergency
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy did not endorse the proposal now under active consideration because of concerns for "people, for example, if they have to travel in the case of emergency to see a relative who got sick."
But he may fail to appreciate that the same problem would occur if, in an "emergency," a flyer lost or misplaced his driver's license (including, soon, one with REAL-ID).
Moreover, unlike with a driver's license, an unvaccinated person suddenly needing to fly in an emergency can probably receive at least one shot with a wait of no more than an hour or two.
If the emergency involved travel abroad (e.g., a sick relative in Europe), many Americans may not have an up-to-date passport, and in any event would have to very quickly arrange a COVID test in order to fly, says Banzhaf, noting that a vaccine mandate to fly could provide for exceptions for true emergency situations.
He also noes that if vaccinations were required to fly, it might be possible to no longer require masks; a burden now imposed on the majority of passengers who are vaccinated by the small minority of flyers who are not.