Pete Buttigieg Argues Mask Mandates Must Stay, Government Must Require “Respect”

The CDC declared that science supports not wearing a mask indoors if you’re vaccinated however you’re still required to wear a mask in airports and on planes through September 13.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was challenged on the contradiction and argued that mask mandates should remain on planes even though they aren’t needed for vaccinated individuals in restaurants, bars and gyms because,

  • “Well, some of the differences have to do with the physical space.” But isn’t that an argument that planes aren’t safer environments due to HEPA air filtration and downward air flow, and as a public health matter shouldn’t he be mandating social distancing on board? In any case, even without blocked middle seats bars are now maskless and packed with people closer together than planes are, so this is nonsense.

  • “Some of them have to do with it being a workplace where in some of these transit and travel situations people don’t have a choice,” In Buttigieg’s view it’s important to protect flight attendants but not restaurant workers. But what are we protecting them from since they have the opportunity to be vaccinated?

  • “[I]t’s also a matter of respect.” It’s important to respect flight attendants but not restaurant workers, apparently. “Respect” may be desirable, though it’s a matter of social norm and custom and views on respect will differ. Should government be in the business of mandating respect rather than simply mandating civility – you can’t assault someone but do you have to respect them or risk government fines?

    Is something even a matter of respect, if it’s mandated by law? Isn’t respect something that has to be freely offered? If someone is wearing a mask because it’s required, to avoid penalties, aren’t they doing it for a reason other than respect?

Buttigieg was also challenged on “an uptick in unruly passengers who are bucking mask mandates on planes” and of course this is not surprising, since it’s something I predicted more than six months ago. Oddly American and Southwest seem to be blaming alcohol for passenger behavior even though economy passengers haven’t had access to alcohol on their planes. For his part, American’s CEO Doug Parker has blamed the different mix of passengers that have been flying his airline as well.

Back in November I explained that we were going to see more conflict on planes over masks as people gained immunity from vaccination and natural infection yet were still required to wear masks. The Director of the CDC said vaccinated people neither get nor spread the virus, and anyone who wants a vaccine in the U.S. 12 and older can get one (and being younger than that generally puts you at less risk than a vaccinated older American). There’s no longer a reason to wear masks on planes, to protect yourself if you’ve been vaccinated or to protect others – and anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated at this point assumes that risk, which – given low virus prevalence on the U.S. now – isn’t significant in most circumstances.

We could see a resurgence in the virus come fall and winter, and if that happens mask mandates could well make sense (but only if we mandate decent masks, used correctly and not cloth masks). In the meantime the lack of flexibility afforded to the vaccinated is one thing that may be holding back vaccination – the mask mandate could be what holds down vaccination and extends the pandemic in the U.S.

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. There is a much bigger problem here…..for those undecided, you may want to wait a bit longer with these injections…

    According to Dr. Byram Bridle, associate professor and viral immunologist in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelphw, cites a brand new, peer-reviewed research study out of Japan “They made a mistake – they thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, only to discover it is a toxin, that can travel to many organs of the body, causing severe damage.”

    WORSE, the spike proteins generated by mRNA vaccines don’t stay in the shoulder muscle, but spread to the brain, heart, ovaries, etc. They also know that the spike protein is what causes the damage with COVID—and now it is clear how it is causing so much damage in other parts of the bodies of the vaccinated.

    Spike protein, on its own is the cause of the vascular, neurodegenerative problems, not the virus.
    In the original theory it stay’s in deltoid, goes to local draining lymph node, activates immune system. But a new bio-distribution study from Japan tracked the vax and spike proteins.
    It gets into the blood within days of vax, accumulates in spleen, brain, bone marrow, liver, adrenal glands, with high concentrations in ovaries.

    Spike protein is a pathogenic toxin that causes damage if in circulation, binds to platelets, epithelial cells of blood vessels, clotting, bleeding, heart problems, brain blood clotting.

    Conclusion is “We made a big mistake, and didn’t realize it till now.” “We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen but never knew the spike protein itself was a pathogenic toxin protein.” “By vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.”

  2. Todd, go away. The grown ups are talking and don’t need your uncited conspiracy theory gibberish.

  3. Todd, go fck off with your endless conspiracy theories, take that sh!t to Newsmax or OAN where it belongs

  4. By the way, the vaccines were only a success because the Russians created them and then gave them to Trump to try to keep him in power since they controlled him. It’s obvious this is correct because the Russians claimed to independently create the only other effective vaccine around the time we created ours — an implausible coincidence when most vaccines take years to develop.

  5. Todd: Did you hear that theory on the entertainment network FOX? It hasn’t been on any of the dozens of news networks.

  6. Gary probably didn’t want to get political but reading between the tea leaves we can see the continued mandate is simply about reinforcing government control over the the public. You will wear a mask because we tell you to.

    It is not all that different from the faux security and commands barked at TSA checkpoints.

  7. I’m inclined to agree with notorious pedophile UA-NYC on vaccines. (I don’t however agree with his frequent child molestation though). I trust the vaccines because Trump was responsible for them. I’m sure he/she/it agrees also.

  8. LK said: “And how will anyone know that the unmasked person sitting very close to them is actually vaccinated? They do not.”

    Only the unmasked/unvaccinated need to worry about it tho. Or not. As their belief dictates.

  9. @Joe – go fuck yourself you whiny little cunt. Seriously you are a little bitch who has probably been picked on all his/it’s life. And you revel in internet anonymity.

  10. @Gary – I know you want to stay out of the comments section and all, but your blog has really stooped to the lowest of the low with these white nationalists, hoaxers, racists, anti-LGBTQ, QAnon worshippers, and especially Joe.

    I’ve been a loyal reader of yours for over a decade plus, and frankly it’s about time you step in here. I know this goes against your Libertarian nature and all, but the intrinsic value of your blog is going to head to zero at this rate.

    You have some nice unique content but 90% of it is duplicated at OMAAT and elsewhere. At a certain point it’s not worth visiting.

  11. Trying to stay on topic, in regards to Buttigieg, respect is earned. Just because you are the government, does not guarantee you respoct.

  12. Unfortunate UA-NYC and some others can’t seem to handle any contrarian viewpoints outside your safety box which disturbs you. Anything I’ve posted can be verified if you took the time to research. Instead you simply reference silly news outlets and cult-like figures while adding in colorful metaphors of nasty language.

    Gary has done an excellent job not censoring anyone for their viewpoints. Unlike social and mainstream media, which will ultimately come back to haunt them as users leave their platform(s).

    I would imagine Gary has a lot more readership vs the 50/100 or so usual commenters on his site. Perhaps many of them are interested in opposite views but simply don’t comment for fear of being called out from people like yourself.

    Gary has a lot of excellent travel-related info and I look forward to his emails daily. I have sent many of his credit card and reward posts to friends and colleagues who were very happy to learn creative ways of using them to the fullest.

  13. @ Gary – as I suggested as recently as last week, the comments section is becoming particularly offensive. I can stop reading them, but also as a loyal decade-long reader, it’s part of the fun of being on blogs such as these.

    Censoring is one thing, but blatantly racist, homophobic, and other such detritus is making me not want to be here anymore. How is it that we don’t see this level of vitriol on other blogs that also claim not to censor? Or are you simply looking for stories that trigger the right-wingers?

    In any case, the reason we have a government mask mandate on aircraft is because the private sector has asked for it. It’s not about the science, it’s about making the majority of flight attendants and passengers feel safe, legitimately or not.

    Argue all you want, but if it only brings out the racist conspiracy theorists to your blog, you may want to ask yourself – why bother?

  14. Lol @ Notorious pedophile UA-NYC who wants to be as nasty as he/she/it pleases to everyone else yet complains about the quality of the comments.

  15. @Todd – your “alternative facts” you post are hot garbage divorced from reality. Closing in on 2B vaccines given now globally and guess what? They are spectacular.

    Btw you have totally misrepresented the study of said Doctor. He has in essence said be cautious with using these on kids. Not “these will destroy your organs” more or less as you put it. Again, because people like you don’t live in reality.

    So enjoy being an anti-vaxxer and going to Daytona or Galveston for vacation. Sure you will find many fellow conspiracy theorists as well.

  16. @UA-NYC – For the record, I quoted Dr. Byram Bridle word for word. There is no discussion about kids in his latest article posted today June 1st, which you obviously did no research to verify.

    Seek help…..You have a serious anger issue which has clouded your ability to converse and critically think.

    This will be my last response to you no matter what else you post. I have better use of my time.

  17. @Gary – I must say this is all too much. I come here to read opinions identical to my own and I will not stand for these racist, homophobic, Q-Anon worshippers EXPRESSING their opinions!

    If these white trash losers would shape up and act more like me I would have no problem, but they’re disagreeing! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT YOU OMAAT WANNABE!

    I daresay that if you do not start policing speech on this site I will be forced to gift my sunny dispositions to other blogs more in line with my thinking, like the NAMBLA Newsletter.

    Now, if you will excuse me, there is a young boy restrained in my closet that requires my attention.

  18. @Todd – a day later…your “story” hasn’t been picked up by even the most right wing blogs. Surely if 2 billion people had toxins flowing through their organs from the vaccines…might make the news?

    (oh yeah, every article that references your lovely Dr. Bryan Brindle quote from 6/1 goes on to talk about the New World Order, great replacement theory, Illuminati, etc…aka, you are a conspiracy-touting chump)

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