Anthony Fauci Wants Vaccine Mandates For Domestic Air Travel

Anthony Fauci wants vaccine mandates for domestic air travel but says they will not happen “immediately.”

[CNN’s] Dana Bash asked if he would like an air travel vaccine mandate in effect for the holidays. He said such a decision would be made with “input from a number of parts of the government.”

“On the table is the issue of mandates for vaccine,” said Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser. “It’s always discussable, we always wind up discussing it, but right now I don’t see that immediately.”

Late last month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would make vaccination, a negative coronavirus test or proof of recent recovery from the virus mandatory to fly domestically. Earlier in the month, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) proposed legislation to require proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic air or Amtrak travelers.

Airlines take different positions on vaccine requirements for travel, depending on whether it’s international or domestic travel, and this isn’t because the virus somehow spreads differently when it is crossing borders.

  • Airlines wanted vaccine mandates for traveling to the U.S., because that was part of a package to allow people who’ve been in Europe, China, Brazil South Africa and several other countries in the prior 14 days to travel to the U.S. at all.

  • Airlines do not want domestic vaccine mandates for travel, because that means fewer people who can travel.

While U.S. airlines are requiring vaccination for employees (largely, aside from United, strictly at the behest of the federal government) that does almost nothing to protect travelers. The pilot in a little room at the front of the plane has to be vaccinated, but the passenger in the middle seat next to you does not.

I would choose an airline without basic economy restrictions (so other passengers could more easily change their travel plans if they are sick) and that required vaccination. United actually wants to offer a ‘vaccine-only seating section’ but says the government won’t allow it.

Like many recently-announced federal requirements, a vaccination requirement to exercise the right to travel seems more questionable. The federal government has far more authority over requirements at the border.

However with the federal mask requirement for air travel in place through January 18, 2022, it might be interesting to see vaccination as a requirement instead of masking.

The federal government required masks for air travel, even though airplanes see less spread than other indoor congregant settings, because it was one of the few places where it (at least arguably) had the authority. Of course, as with new border requirements of vaccination this would all be for show if less effective Chinese vaccines, which haven’t been shown to reduce spread, are accepted.

Both mask and vaccine policy has been rife with contradiction. Many federal vaccine advisors who have recommended against booster doses for the general population, argue that vaccines remain effective against sever disease and we shouldn’t be vaccinating to contain spread. These same public health advisors argue that the vaccinated should wear masks to… limit spread rather than merely severe disease.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Fauci is clearly planting the seed, but I’m not too worried at this point. Even if some regulation or executive order is issued or passed, it’ll be sued into oblivion and almost certainly immediately stayed while the suits play out. There are serious constitutional issues to examine when it comes to restricting domestic travel from US citizens.

  2. I supported vaccines when Joe Biden, Pelosi, and Harris were questioning whether we could trust them. I supported masks when Fauci was telling us that masks were not only useless, THEY WERE HARMFUL.

    The surest way to build resistance against both of these is to resort to strong arm bullying rather than education and positive encouragement.

  3. OK, Fauci . . . I am a vaccine supporter, but when the hell am I going to be able to get my uner-12 kids vaccinated?

  4. Let’s kill all private businesses.
    Except the lawyers of course.
    The cockroaches will also survive..

  5. Haha this mandate will fail miserably and only give momentum to those who oppose the vax. Go ahead and try it Biden. It’s time to end this nonsense for a failed vaccine that is NOT effective in containing the spread of C19. Wake up sheeple.

  6. This proposal might be given more consideration were it not coming from the thoroughly discredited Dr. Fauci.
    If there is a poster child for mandatory retirement age, he, indeed, is it.

  7. Absolutely agree with others that Dr Fauci has contorted himself into so many opposite positions over the course of this pandemic that I’ll never believe another word that comes out of his mouth.

  8. Gee–another travel headline says “Fauci does not see vaccines for domestic travel”. One wonders why news is no longer trusted.

    I am NOT vaccinated and have no intention of getting a jab. I’m a healthy weight, exercise daily, watch what I eat , take vitamins/supplements. I do not attend group functions. I am treating Covid like a flu outbreak

    Mandatory vaccines are a bad idea… There are other voices out there besides Fauci. Why not listen to them? Fauci is bought and paid for. He will do what he’s told to do by big pharma and sleepy Joe.

  9. Get this started now. It will take a while, soon the children under 12 will have the vax. The sooner the better on this plan.

  10. The entire pandemic response from almost all sectors has been utterly irresponsible and foolish. The media has been the worst actor of all as it spread mass hysteria and panic. The government went along and instituted all sorts of rules and restrictions which have not been successful at containing the epidemic. The fact remains that Covid is a nasty bug, but is entirely manageable with sane, sound, and responsible policy (such as expanding hospital capability). I’m also all for recommendations to stay home while sick, sanitize hands and face more frequently, personal hygiene.
    Vaccine mandates are asinine since the vaccine doesn’t prevent the spread of the disease. Studies everywhere have shown vaccinated people get infected and spread the disease. The benefit of the vaccine is only to those who have been vaccinated as it protects them from serious disease. Demanding that others take the vaccine simply makes no sense. Sitting in a vaccinated only area makes no sense as people there can have Covid and spread it. This makes no more sense than mandating flu vaccines. It’s all theater.
    As a Covid survivor, I find it jarring how it’s only vaccines that are accepted as proof of immunity from Covid when natural infection is clearly and obviously superior.

  11. @ Gary — I’m sure the airlines will agree in return for $50 billion or so. Did you see the slimebag Starwood CEO saying the government needs to pay people bonuses for returning to work? How about their new employer pay the bonus?

  12. @James
    Spare us your fact less drivel that vaccines are useless.
    Do us a favor and stay under that rock so you don’t infect the 25% that are unvaccinated.

  13. I’m all for a vaccine mandate for air, train and intercity bus travel. The sooner people stop spreading COVID, the sooner we can go back to our full real lives again. I know that being vaccinated the odds that I die or suffer serious hospitalization are close to nill but I want the disruptions to be over:
    1) Wearing masks at work all day and at certain indoor events.
    2) Seeing things I like to do canceled, converted to virtual, converted to drive by, or limited in capacity.
    3) Traveling abroad worrying about constantly changing rules and policies, quarantines, and testing.

    At this point the vaccinated who could fully resume life are essentially being punished by the fact so many are taking a position that prolongs the catastrophe. There is no constitutional right to spread disease, and no constitutional right to fly.

  14. I would be willing to bed if one of the major US legacy mandated all passengers had to provide proof of vaccination they would do more business than all the others combined. I think the people traveling regularly are the smart ones who trust science and the others can be left behind or walk.

  15. Seems as if Trump wanted to fire Fauci but the media adoration for this clown would have caused too much political fallout, once again proving that his instincts were usually right. What a favor he would have done us. And what it is with these media outlets…Dr. Fauci can we Trick or Treat….Dr Fauci what about Christmas, can we gather for the holidays? Dr. Fauci do you want us vaccinated in order to fly? There are no constraints on this guy and he has a media that has granted him sainthood. As dangerous as this guy is, the lemmings who blindly follow this jackass are even worse.

  16. I have to say I was very happy that on my recent transatlantic flights almost everyone had to be tested and/or vaccinated before being let on the plane.

  17. This is such a no brainer and history has proven as the correct course of action. I honestly can’t understand these non-vax holdouts that scream ‘patriots’, ‘freedom’, etc. You had vaccine as a baby and it has protected you throughout your entire life. Do want polio or smallpox? Stop crying, get the godman shot (it doesn’t hurt, takes 5 seconds, and you get a bandaid for your little boo-boo) and let’s get on with our lives already. I’m sick and tired of this debate, which wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for these anti-vax morons.

  18. The Supreme Court has already ruled that, while one has the right to travel, one does not have the right to travel by air. They are free to use another means of travel.

    Not my words. The Supreme Court’s words.

    The vaccine mandate to fly is coming. Deal with it.

  19. Good! Let’s do it! Sooner rather than later. This stupidity is still spreading by all the people who refuse science. We can get back to normal life when this eventually goes away. It’s all these anti-vaxxers who keep this spreading. Those of us who actually DO the right thing are still being punished by having our lives severely disrupted. It’s such an easy thing to do to fix this problem. Mandatory vaccine to enter any public indoor place including airports and planes is a great step in the right direction.

  20. @Jon – Agreed. This will never happen. Fauci the Covid Nazi, however, is probably arrogant enough that he thinks he can get it to happen if he repeats it often enough.

  21. I’m really hoping that when I finally fly somewhere (been over 1-1/2 years), that there is a vaccine mandate of some kind in effect. I would like to allow 24-72 hr testing for people who are unvaccinated. Especially for children. Mainly because of emergencies and/or it’s too far to drive.

    Or, as an alternative, maybe some airlines would be for the vaccinated only, and others for anyone else who wouldn’t mind being around the unvaxxed.

    I don’t like the idea of taking a 3-5 hour flight somewhere sitting next to an unvaccinated person who could give my family and I covid-19. We’re all vaccinated, and so should most everyone else. I realize some people can’t get the vaccine for health reasons.

    If you go to Hawaii, you either need a vaccine card or some kind of test that shows you are Covid-free. Good idea!

  22. @farsighted99:

    “I realize some people can’t get the vaccine for health reasons.”

    That is a minuscule number.

  23. Smart move. It’ll keep people safe and healthy through that science stuff.

    @Gene – Starwood hasn’t existed for years. Do you maybe mean Starbucks? Otherwise we’re going into really unlikely territory with Star Trek, which I don’t believe has a CEO.

  24. Why does everyone crucify Fauci for changing positions on things throughout Covid? Changing behavior based on new information being discovered is a *good* thing to do. This is a brand new disease that the global medical community has been working themselves ragged trying to test, understand, and treat. If you’re unwilling to get a simple vaccine that is proven to be safe and effective to keep your neighbors (and yourself, frankly) safe, I’m fine with you being denied a place in the society the rest of us are trying like hell to get back to normal.

  25. @Matt:

    I’ll tell you why Fauci deserves to be crucified.

    We are being treated like guinea pigs. Let’s try this and see if it works. Oh, it didn’t. Let’s try that then. See if that works.

    I don’t want to receive medical advice unless they have actually determined that it is productive and safe.

    Since they are guessing at just about everything and trying it out on us, what if 5-years from now it is determined that the vaccine will shorten your life for 10-years.

    What do they say then? Ooops. The science changed?

  26. @Matt. Yes, new data can lead to updated “science.” Unfortunately, while we are trying to rewrite history to make “new data” the explanation for changing COVID recommendations, that is not the case — certainly not all of the explanation.

    Months after telling everyone that MASKS WERE HARMFUL, Fauci, the former Surgeon General, and others acknowledged that they — at least in part — said masks were harmful because they wanted to avoid a run on face masks when there was a shortage that might impact healthcare providers. I understand the reasoning, but it’s dangerous when health officials choose to lie to the public because they feel the lie is for the greater good. It hurts your credibility.

    Plus, months ago, Fauci *bragged* in an interview how he KNEW the public “wasn’t ready” to hear the true numbers needed for herd immunity, so he low-balled it in order to get people on board with vaccinations. Then as vaccine rates went up, he acknowledged he would bump the estimates needed for herd immunity up because he thought he could “squeeze a little bit more out of people.” What was fascinating about that interview was that he really did seem pleased with himself and with his ability to lie to people to get them to do what he “knew” was best.

    And now when people question him, he wants to argue it’s their fault for being science deniers.

    And yes, I say this as someone who supported vaccines when Joe Biden, Pelosi, and Harris were questioning whether we could trust them. And yes, I supported masks when Fauci was telling us that masks were not only useless, THEY WERE HARMFUL.

    I may strongly disagree with antivax folk, but let’s not forget that it was Dem leadership that started the whole campaign of suspicion regarding the vaccines as a way of going after Trump. We should not let them off the hook. We should not let Fauci off the hook for misleading the public –by his own words — even if he thought it was for the best. The problem with being dishonest is that people then have a reason to not believe you, even if you’re telling the truth.

    I am afraid that politicians and health officials on the left and right have exploited this for personal gain — and made bad choices on messaging that have set public health back decades.

  27. Don’t wear masks the vaccine may not be safe wear a mask get the vaccine don’t wear a mask wear 2 masks. No holidays don’t leave your house.. This jokester doesn’t want you to leave your house go to work see your family say Hi to your neighbors but he can go to baseball games dinner parties all without wearing a mask what does that tell you

  28. Dr Fauci is almost as dangerous as Pres. Biden.
    The “science” he follows is “his” science, not that of the scientist-researchers. He’s long since not treated patients, nor evidently worked in a laboratory, being rather a politically savvy bureaucrat, who’s parlayed his position into becoming a media personality.
    His failure to acknowledge that his earlier pronouncements are no longer pertinent because evidence accumulated and evaluated in the meantime has superseded them has left the public confused. On-going confusion has led to many disregarding Dr Fauci’s advice and treating him with contempt.
    We’d be far better off if an articulate physician-scientist with broader and deeper understanding of corona viruses replaced Dr Fauci. Unfortunately, he lacks the wisdom to retire and Mr Biden lacks the courage to fire him, or to get him to resign,
    Since it’s evident that all persons infected with Covid-19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, can transmit the virus to others, passports indicating that the holder has been vaccinated are of no use in determining whether the holder is a carrier.
    Masks, like those the general public usually wear, are of no use in preventing the passing of the virus from one person to another. Requiring airplane passengers to wear them is an exercise in controlling people not in preventing the transmission of the virus. They’re useless in the case of young children and are a major irritant in that of many adults. The sooner they’re no longer required, the better.

  29. People who are too afraid to travel because they might, GASP, be next to someone unvaccinated, NEED to stay home.

    I wonder if they worry about it at the grocery store? At any store?

    I’m vaxxed but never gave it a single thought while flying to Maldives last year and Egypt this year.

    Stay home or drive your car. More room for those of us not afraid to live their lives

  30. OMG to all the low life IDIOTS that fell for the jab, WAKE UP you puppets!! I have had COVID and MY immune system is 1000 better than the idiots that took the jab. You will still catch COVID, you will still get sick and you will Definitely STILL SPREAD IT!!!!
    The untaxed are not dirt but the vexed are. Read the real news and check the truth about who are in the hospital and die, it’s the vaxed! Ian’s quit reading and watching the main stream news because they want to keep you scared and DR F wants to stay in the spot light
    I know because I have had COVID and had a close friend that was very healthy pass away from the 2nd jab!!!

  31. PEOPLE! you all need to WAKE up!!!
    Being vaccinated does NOT protect you period, end of story!

    Check out what happened in Israel and see for yourself…. almost the whole country was vaccinated and they have THE highest number of covid cases!

    Andy by the way, natural immunity is best…. and Ivermectin WORKS better than Fauci’s vaccine!

  32. Most of the deaths in Israel are among the vaxed. Why do we pay attention to Israel? They ace record keeping and can serve as a model. Vaxing didn’t create herd immunity for them. it did not stop the transmission and it certainly did not prevent deaths.

  33. Less travelers? Greed rears it’s ugly head again. There’s too many cattle in those flying cattle cars already.
    Yes to vaccinated travel only! They force you to use a seat belt, to wear clothing, to not smell bad, to behave, etc. Nothing wrong with forcing you to not be infectious.

  34. I like the vaccine, and was on the fence about the sick-outs by the SW pilots over the weekend. But seeing what the next phase is – vaccine mandates for travel, I say fuck it all. If we let the Fauci׳s have the power and satisfaction of using constitutionally-questionable means of forcing huge employers to get their employees vaccinated, next he’s coming for the rest of us (metaphorically, speaking, I’m Alta sure vaccinated). And then the kids. This is bullshit and tyranny.

    I’m pretty confident that every time that little hypocrite goes on TV the number of those refusing to vaccinate increases. He’s a walking disaster.

  35. Fellow vaccinated Americans, quit your whining. Don’t let the unvaccinated ones control your lives.
    If you want to congregate, congregate. If you want to travel, then travel. If you’re worried, get a booster.
    That some people choose to skip the vaccine should make no difference.

    But, you say, they allow the virus to circulate and mutate.
    Yes, maybe so. But we live in a big world, filled wity some 7 billion humans. The entire US population is less than 5%. The US vaccine rate wooo have little-to-no impact on the global vaccination rate, which is what really drives circulation and mutations. And once it mutates, anywhere in the world, it wooo come here. So stop obsessing about what your neighbors vaccination status.

  36. Jim,

    Perfect presentation of data of why if you are vaccinated you should not fear sitting next to an unvaxxed passenger on an aircraft. No mandate necessary as you have shown.

  37. I’m all for the vaxxed to pay more since thru airfare increases since their will be less people traveling

  38. “Many federal vaccine advisors who have recommended against booster doses for the general population, argue that vaccines remain effective against sever disease and we shouldn’t be vaccinating to contain spread. These same public health advisors argue that the vaccinated should wear masks to… limit spread rather than merely severe disease.”

    Come on, Gary – I expect more of you here. You’re astute enough to realize that the argument against vaccinating to contain spread (i.e. booster shots), is simply that the limited global supply of vaccine may be better used to provide first vaccinations to people in developing countries. On the other hand, there’s not a shortage of masks, and by limiting transmission we also (by extension) limit the incidence of severe disease. Sheesh…

  39. rufus9,

    How about just upcharge the vaxx’d (which I am) that demand everyone everyone else to get jabbed too ignoring the purpose of a vaccine. These were the same people who demanded airlines leave their middle seat open in perpetuity, and just as absurd economically and equally inconsequential to the spread of this virus. But it makes them feel better!

  40. @David – and limiting booster doses in the U.S. will not on its own lead to greater dose availability elsewhere in fact it may make more global inexpensive doses possible.

    In any case that is a policy judgment and not a medical judgment about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and beyond the mandate of these advisors.

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