Fauci says US should consider vaccination mandate for domestic air travel

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Jim Lo Scalzo | EPA | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The federal government should consider requiring Covid-19 vaccines for domestic flights, the country’s top infectious disease expert said on Monday.

“When you make vaccination a requirement, it’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “If you want to do this with domestic flights, I think this is something that should be seriously considered.”

There is no indication at this stage that a vaccination warrant is on its way for US flights. Fauci, when asked on MSNBC, declined to say whether he made the recommendation to President Joe Biden.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Already, American passengers must wear masks to board planes and wear them for the duration of the flight.

International travelers must also present proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test to board a flight to the United States.

With the omicron variant spreading rapidly in the United States, airlines have canceled more than 2,000 flights since Friday, in part due to outbreaks among staff.

Across the country, omicron accounts for the majority of new infections, at 73% of new cases last Monday. The highly infectious variant has caused a handful of states, including New Jersey and New York, to report more cases of the coronavirus than in any other seven-day period since the start of the pandemic.

A handful of cities in the United States, including New York City, require proof of vaccination to travel to indoor venues such as Broadway theaters, athletic stadiums, restaurants, and fitness centers. form.

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