White House looking into air travel bans for the unvaccinated

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Days after Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would support unvaccinated Americans from flying on airplanes, the White House says it is exploring that option, adding, “We haven’t taken any options off the table.”

When asked by a reporter if the White House supports Fauci’s advice to ban unvaccinated Americans from air travel, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded, “I would say, uh, you know right now, uh, last week we announced uh, some bold ambitious steps that were supported across the board from our health and medical experts.”

“Right now our focus is on implementing those,” she added. “Part of that was also doubling fines for people who were not wearing masks on planes a step that we feel would help keep people safe on flights and reduce the spread. We haven’t taken options off the table but I don’t have any updates to share with you at this point our focus is on implementation of the big steps we announced last week.”

The U.S. Travel Association balked at Fauci’s claim. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Fauci and the CDC have touted the safety of air travel with masking, even before there was a COVID-19 vaccine and at the height of this past winter’s second wave.

“U.S. Travel has long maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel. Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine,” Tori Emerson Barnes, the organization’s executive vice president said in a statement.

A July 2020 study, during the height of the pandemic, showed that facemasks and air filtering systems on planes were sufficient to create a safe flying environment for passengers.

COVID-19 transmission on airline flights is extremely rare.